|11th Vaccination Week in the Americas seeks to protect 44 million people in 44 countries and territories against dangerous diseases||Envoyer|
Washington, D.C., 19 April 2013 (PAHO/WHO) — Health workers and volunteers throughout the hemisphere are gearing up for the 11th annual Vaccination Week in the Americas, which begins this Saturday, April 20, and extends through Saturday, April 27.
Forty-four countries and territories are participating in this year’s initiative, aiming to reach more than 44 million children and adults.
The slogan for this year’s initiative is “Vaccination: a shared responsibility,” highlighting the importance of everyone doing their part in supporting immunization, one of public health’s most important and cost-effective interventions.
Person responsible for vaccination at the Eleazar Germain Hospital in Petion Ville, applies an oral vaccine to a Haitian child.
“Everyone has a part to play in fighting vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Carissa F. Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). “Governments, in funding programs; national immunization programs, in organizing activities; health workers, in spreading out to the farthest corners of the Americas to vaccinate people of all ages, not only in cities but also in rural and border zones and other hard-to-reach areas. And families and communities, for making sure that everyone gets up to date on their vaccines.”
Vaccination Week is the largest international health effort in the Americas. Since 2003, it has taken the benefits of vaccines to more than 411 million people of all ages, including more than 140 million children under 5 and nearly 139 million senior citizens. The initiative’s success helped inspire the launch in 2012 of World Immunization Week, which is being celebrated again this year by more than 180 countries worldwide.
“The region of the Americas has a proud history of leadership in fighting vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Etienne. “We were the first region in the world to eradicate smallpox and polio and to eliminate measles and rubella. Pan American cooperation has been key to this progress and remains key for protecting our hard-won achievements.”
A number of launching events are planned for Vaccination Week in the Americas this year, including:
No. 295 Avenue John Brown, Port-au-Prince, Haiti,