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For the second consecutive year, Guatemala joined the celebration of the World Hepatitis Day in July 2012. As estab-lished in Resolution WHA63.18, during the 63rd World Health Assembly, the country implemented strategies aimed at educating the population and creating awareness about viral hepatitis as a public health problem in order to pro-mote the implementation of prevention and control measures.

To that end, the following activities were conducted: 1) airing of an in-formative radio interview at "Today with the United Nations" in official radio TGW 107.3 FM; 2) publication of an informative article in a widely distributed free newspaper reaching over 600,000 people in the metropoli-tan area of Guatemala City and another one in the Healthy Living section of the Prensa Libre Newspaper, which is the paper with the largest circulation in the country; 3) dissemination of hepatitis information through the Ministry of Health Website and Newsletters; 4) vac-cination of University San Carlos de Guatemala third year medical students, prior to the beginning of their clinical rotations; and 5) vaccination coverage assessment of the Hepatitis B birth-dose within 24 hours of birth among newborns done jointly by the Ministry of Health’s Immunization Programme and the Social Security Administra-tion.

The birth dose of Hepatitis B vaccine was included in Guatemala’s National Immunization Programme in 2010; for infants, Hepatitis B vaccine has been used in a pentavalent vaccine since 2005.

PAHO/WHO-Guatemala will continue working with the country to coordinate efforts to prevent viral hepatitis through improving sanitation and access to clean water and non-contaminated food, as well as increasing coverage with Hepatitis B vaccine, particularly among newborns and targeted risk-groups.

Published in Global Immunization Newsletter, July 2012.


Last Updated on Friday, 05 October 2012 10:27

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