Antigua St John's - Vaccination plays a significant role in public health by providing protection against communicable disease in Antigua & Barbuda.
This was outlined at the opening ceremony for the first Community Nursing Conference at the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association Headquarters in celebration of the first World Vaccination Week and the 10th anniversary of Vaccination Week of the Americas.
Principal Nursing Officer Elnora Warner said many nurses have not seen a patient with whooping cough, polio, or devastating birth defects caused by rubella because many of these diseases have been contained by the development and widespread distribution of safe and affordable vaccine.
Warner also noted that she wants to caution healthcare professionals that even though existing vaccines continue to exert their immunological power and new vaccines offer similar hopes, there are re-emerging and newly emerging infectious diseases threatening the dramatic progress.
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) specialist Edward Emmanuel also stressed that the Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) in Antigua & Barbuda has resulted in the elimination of measles, mumps, and rubella.
He also noted that vaccines need to be properly managed, and the workshop was convened to highlight awareness of safe vaccination practices, including monitoring of cold chain, maintenance of proper records, and explaining strategies for increasing coverage.
An overview of the workshop was done by Superintendent of Public Health Nurses Carolita Joseph.
She said that in Antigua & Barbuda, nurses play a very active part in the fight against infection. She said thanks to the government and PAHO for their commitment and hard work in Antigua & Barbuda to stage vaccination week.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Edson Joseph declared the conference open and commended the nurses for the excellent job they have been doing for the past 30 years and beyond.
Joseph said the conference sought to bring out new ideas and trends in immunization and immunization activity sessions, because it has saved millions of lives.
The theme was, “For you, for me, for everyone, get vaccinated."
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