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The sixth annual Mini EPI-Managers Meeting of the Dutch Caribbean was held in Sint Maarten, from 13-14 September 2012. The "mini-meeting" presented an opportunity for EPI managers from each island, to come together with representatives of the Immunization Department of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to share experiences regarding their respective immunization programmes, strengthening inter-island collaboration to guarantee uniformity in programmes and create synergies between the EPI programmes of the Dutch Caribbean and of the Netherlands.

This is the first mini-EPI meeting since the constitutional change for the Netherlands Antilles went into effect on 10 October 2010, when Curaçao and Sint Maarten joined Aruba in becoming autonomous countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the remaining islands – Bonaire, Saba, and St Eustatius—became public entities or municipalities of the Netherlands.

The objectives of the meeting were to discuss how the constitutional change influenced the EPI programme in each country individually, in the Dutch Caribbean; link plans and activities of countries for more efficient and effective programme management; decide on arrangements to guarantee uniformity in programmes; establish agreements on formal collaboration on EPI matters between the Dutch Caribbean and the Netherlands; discuss the introduction of new vaccines in the Dutch Caribbean islands; and construct an official brief to be presented to policy makers in the Government regarding the proposed programme collaboration that is required among countries.

Over the course of the meeting, representatives from each island presented an overview of the state of affairs in 2012 and upcoming plans for 2013. In addition, two working groups were established to conduct a Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat (SWOT) analysis about the new status with regard to the EPI programme and to discuss opportunities for strengthened collaboration between the island and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to guarantee uniformity among programmes.

Published in Global Immunization Newsletter, October 2012.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:35

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