Paramaribo, 28 April, 2010 - After the launching of the Vaccination Activities in St Laurent and Albina, PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses visited the Ministry of Health, accompanied by Dr. Gerry Eijkemans, PAHO/WHO representative in Suriname. Dr. Roses met with Dr. Leslie Resida, Director of the Bureau of Public Health, and gave a press conference presenting Vaccination Week in the Americas and addressing the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Suriname has increased vaccination efforts in the last couple of years, including vaccination in the highlands, the borders and the interior of the country.
The message of Vaccination Week this year is "reaching everyone", especially the people who are hard to reach. The Medical Mission and the Regional Health Services also started local vaccination and health education activities for risk groups in the respective areas. One of the Vaccination Week activities of the Regional Health Services is vaccinating people going from home to home, starting at Sunny point.
"It is very important to get vaccinated," Dr. Roses said. She is also aware about the negative reports on H1N1 vaccines. "There is no need to worry," said Dr. Roses. "Worldwide, over 400 million H1N1 vaccines have been given, including in neighboring Brazil, which is the leader with 40 million vaccinations and no registered cases of side effects or negative impact. However, we have to be alert, because there was a recent outbreak of the virus in Brazil among people who were not vaccinated, where especially pregnant women have been affected and several people have died because of the virus."
During her visit Dr. Roses also attended a Symposium on the occasion of World Day for Safety and Health at Work, celebrating healthy workplaces in the Americas, where she spoke on health and safety of health workers. The center of Excellence at the Academic Hospital and the newly constructed Central Laboratory of the BOG were also visited.
On the 28th of April, PAHO/WHO, together with the ILO, promotes a comprehensive approach to health, safety, and wellness in the workplace. It involves action in four areas; physical work environment, psychosocial work environment, personal health resources (access to occupational health services, health promotion), and enterprise community involvement.
Dr. Roses also discussed healthy lifestyles, looking at education to spread the message of healthy lifestyles to children and smoke-free schools. "Not only teaching, but also offering healthy lifestyles," Dr. Roses said.