Health Minister Applauds Nation’s Success in Immunization

Posted on: April 26, 2016

Authored by: Llonella Gilbert
Source: Bahamas Information Services
Date: April 26, 2016

 

NASSAU, Bahamas — Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Perry Gomez said that he believes The Bahamas has already achieved Gold Medals in its journey towards immunizing its citizens so as to prevent and control the spread of vaccine preventable diseases.

Nonetheless, we in The Bahamas are now working on improving the performance time in our race toward the removal and elimination of all challenges where possible so as to prevent the introduction of new and/or resurgence of these old infections and communicable diseases,” Dr. Gomez said. He was addressing the official opening at the Flamingo Gardens Clinic, Monday, April 25, 2016, of the National Immunization Cold Storage Facility that will ensure that vaccines are stored at the appropriate temperatures to maintain their potency until given to clients or patients.

During the official opening of the storage facility, The Bahamas as a member of the World Health and Pan American Health Organizations (WHO/PAHO) participated with more than 180 countries and territories around the world in celebrating the fifth year of World Immunization or Vaccine Week in the Americas.

Dr. Gomez said, “While the celebration of Vaccination Week in the Americas began some five years ago, the initiative to improve the immunization status of citizens in Member Countries began some 13 years ago with more than 580 million people having been vaccinated.

“The objectives of this Vaccination Week of celebration which began on Saturday 23 of April and ends on the 30th April 2016 are to:

  • Advance equity and improve access to vaccination for people of all ages through outreach activities, to the under-served and marginalized communities.
  • To increase vaccination coverage to all citizens.
  • To raise awareness of how immunization saves lives and to keep the topic on the political agenda.
  • To promote the transition from child to family immunization and
  • To serve as a platform for integrated public health activities.”

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Go for the Gold”; and the Health Minister explained that the country began its journey towards the Gold Medal in immunizing its citizens so as to prevent and control the spread of vaccine preventable diseases in 1979, with:

  • Diphtheria Pertussis and Tetanus coverage of barely 30 percent; for 2015 estimated coverage was 95 percent.
  • In 1979 our Polio coverage was 27 percent, and in 2015 it was 95 percent.
  • In 1982 Measles coverage was 62 percent, and MMR coverage to date is 94 percent.
  • In 1994, Tetanus coverage among the pregnant women population was 71 percent, and in 2015 was 100 percent.

Dr. Gomez said, “By focusing sustained efforts on infants under the age of one-year-old, as well as the one-four-years-old school children and pregnant women, we were able to target the most at-risk groups requiring protection and reducing the possible re-introduction of old and new Communicable Diseases.”

He explained that in regards to the recommendation of the (WHO and PAHO) to Member Countries to advance equity and improve access to vaccination for people of all ages on an annual basis, the Government of The Bahamas has:

  • Ensured that funding for the purchase of vaccines in the sum of $5,195,339.00 for the period 2006-2015 was made available to purchase vaccines through the partnership and support of our PAHO Representatives and distributed to Public Health Clinics and the participating private providers throughout The Bahamas.
  • Secondly, on every Island and Cay, vaccines except for those selected vaccines (e.g. yellow fever and Hepatitis A) given to persons traveling abroad are made availableThis is called equitable access.
  • The Bahamas has continued partnering with stakeholders in the airline and mail boat industries, the Public Hospitals Authority and the various brokers to ensure that vaccines are delivered in a safe manner with focus on maintaining the “Cold Chain.”

All News

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds Graduation Ceremony for Twelve New Recruits following 2019 Induction Training Programme

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ 2019 Induction Training Programme graduation ceremony for twelve (12) new recruits was held on Friday, 23rd August, 2019, under the theme, “To Learn and Serve in Unity”. The graduation followed the Ministry’s Induction Training Programme for new recruits, which was held from 29th July to 23rd August, 2019….

UN Chief calls for Climate Action

14 Sep 2019 –  The financial cost of the damage caused by Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas “will be in the billions of dollars and The Bahamas cannot be expected to foot this bill alone” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday on arrival in the Bahamian capital Nassau, less than two weeks after a category five…

JAPAN DONATES EMERGENCY RELIEF GOODS FOR VICTIMS OF HURRICANE DORIAN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE From: Bahamas Information Services September 11, 2019 NASSAU, The Bahamas — The Government and People of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas received Emergency Relief Goods from the Government and People of Japan for the victims of Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the northern islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco.  The handover ceremony took place…

GLOBAL CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR HEADS AND DEPUTY HEADS OF UNITED NATIONS (UN) PEACE OPERATIONS

Working as a UN Peacekeeper is a unique experience. The Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, has launched the second edition of the global call for nominations for Heads and Deputy Heads of UN Peace Operations. Further information on the mandate of United Nations Peace Operations can be found at https://peacekeeping.un.org/en and https://dppa.un.org/en/dppa-around-world.  …

MASS SHOOTINGS IN THE USA – OHIO AND TEXAS

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 5 August 2019 Nassau, Bahamas   Mass Shootings in the USA – Ohio and Texas The Government and people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas are deeply saddened to learn of two mass shootings that occurred in the States of Texas and Ohio, over the weekend. We convey to the Government…