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PAHO/WHO Strengthens Support to Chile

Santiago, Chile (PAHO) — PAHO / WHO has coordinated the donation of vaccines against hepatitis A by the pharmaceutical industry and other countries in the region. The efforts were a response to a call from the authorities of the Ministry of Health of Chile, given that immunization of those affected by the earthquake is one of the country's priorities.

PAHO/WHO in Chile asked pharmaceutical companies and Organization member countries for donation of vaccines against Hepatitis A, Tetanus and H1N1 influenza. About 175,000 doses of Hepatitis A vaccines have already arrived in the country, through Sanofi Pasteur and Glaxo Smith Kline laboratories, and the delivery of more Hepatitis A vaccines, as well as vaccines against pandemic H1N1 influenza, is now being negotiated.

Vaccination of risk groups has already begun and will continue in all affected areas of the country.

In addition to coordinating the donation of vaccines, the Pan American Health Organization is supporting Chile in the restoration of the health services network affected by the earthquake of 27 February. The necessary efforts began to be defined at a meeting between the Health Minister of Chile, Dr. Jaime Mañalich, and the PAHO/WHO Representative in Chile, Dr. Ruben Torres, along with technicians from the representation and the regional PAHO response team.

The Minister of Health highlighted the impact of the earthquake on the health care network--especially the major hospitals--and thanked PAHO for the actions already being taken. PAHO renewed its commitment to working together with the Health Ministry in the analysis and identification of best options for replacing the affected health facilities, in the mobilization of experts and the management of funds to support the replacement of hospital equipment.

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