Paramaribo, June5, 2012 (PAHO Suriname) – Introducing new and underutilized vaccines in countries has been of paramount importance to the immunization programme of PAHO. Consequently support has been given to countries to initiate or enhance their surveillance system especially for rotavirus, bacterial pneumonia and meningitis in preparation for the introduction of these new vaccines specifically.In 2004, the surveillance system for rotavirus started in selected countries (Suriname, Guyana and Sint Vincent and Grenadines) and countries agreed to send weekly surveillance data and a report at the end of the year. CAREC has been responsible for coordination, technical guidance, laboratory testing and capacity building as well as reporting and sending the data to the PAHO regional office. PAHO has recently developed a surveillance tool, VINUVA, in an effort to strengthen the reporting and quality of the data. This surveillance tool enables the countries to enter data directly from the local and/or national level, and to perform quality control. From 5-6 June a training “HANDS ON” workshop was held in Torarica, in order to introduce the countries to the new surveillance tool and allow for their use.
The following points were discussed: