|(October) Bolivian Uru Chipaya Community Receives PAHO Immunization Award|
The Uru Chipaya Ethnic Group of the Oruro Department of Bolivia received the 2011 Pan Ameri-can Health Organization (PAHO) Immunization Award for their activities to keep immunization coverage close to 100% in their area. The group was presented with a certificate of recognition, as well as a monetary gift in the amount of three thousand US dollars at the twentieth Meeting of PAHO’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Vaccine-preventable Diseases on 17 October 2012 in Washington, D.C (article in this issue of the GIN). PAHO created the Immunization Award to recognize outstanding contributions to a national immuniza-tion programme and to the control and/or elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Despite extreme poverty conditions, marginalization and inequity, the Uru Chipaya Ethnic Group of Bolivia made extraordinary contributions in the control and elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases. In the last 15 years, the municipality reached more than 95% vaccination coverage, even reaching 100% coverage in some years. Since 2000, the community no longer has confirmed cases of measles, rubella or neonatal tetanus, in addition to other vaccine-preventable diseases, such as polio and diphtheria, which have not occurred in 24 years.
Their achievements were made possible by making immunization and health promotion a top pri-ority. In 2001, the community put nearly 60% of its financial resources into health, education and basic hygiene. The group established and maintained a strong alliance with the community, indige-nous authorities and health personnel. Other activities to increase success in health included the development and use of creative tactics to prevent morbidity and mortality in the community; ensuring vaccination completion for teenagers, senior citizens and migrant groups; increasing vac-cination hours and; promoting health in schools.
Three out of four people who need antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Latin America and the Caribbean are receiving it, according to a new report from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). That leaves one in four without the life-saving treatment but represents a 10% improvement in just two years and puts Latin America and the Caribbean ahead of all other developing regions in levels of ART coverage.
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization