Some members of the Ministry of Health’s CPS team.
PHILIPSBURG–The Health Ministry’s Collective Prevention Services (CPS) urges parents to check their children’s vaccination status to see whether they are up to date.
CPS’ call comes as the world celebrates World Immunization Week, from April 24 to 30, as well as Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Vaccination Week in the Americas. World Immunization Week aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.
CPS says persons with fever or rash should consult their physician who would then alert CPS where the necessary surveillance actions can be taken in connection with measles.
World Health Organizations (WHO) says immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognised as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. “Yet, there are still nearly 20 million unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children in the world today,” it was stated in a press release.
The theme of this year’s World Immunization Week campaign is , “Protected Together: Vaccines Work.”
The 17th edition of the PAHO Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) started April 20 and runs until April 27 under the theme: “Protect your community. Do your part.” VWA includes the participation of 45 countries and territories in the Americas.
Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus, diarrhoea, rubella, and tetanus.
Global vaccination coverage remains at 85 per cent with no significant changes during the past few years. WHO says an uptake of new and underused vaccines is increasing. An additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided, however, if global immunization coverage improves.
According to PAHO, historically, the Region of the Americas has led the way towards the elimination of various vaccine-preventable diseases.
“In 1971, it became the first region in the world to eliminate smallpox. In 1994, it achieved certification for the elimination of poliomyelitis. In 2015, it ended rubella and congenital rubella syndrome and in 2016, it eliminated measles. However, according to Etienne, the resurgence in outbreaks of measles and diphtheria, as well the occurrence of yellow fever, are challenges that must be faced in the region,” it was stated in the release.
Measles remains a public health problem and imported cases have been a significant threat to the countries of the Americas, where more than 17,000 cases have been registered since 2017, said PAHO Director Dr. Carissa F. Etienne.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/87096-cps-urges-parents-to-check-children-s-vaccination-status