Deputy Director of the Regional Health Services (RGD) Nursing Affairs Steven Tel, UNICEF Health Officer Shivanny Narain, Medical Mission Herman Jintie, PAHO/WHO Advisor, Health Systems and Services Dr. Rosmond Adams, PAHO/WHO Family Planning and Lifecycle/Immunization Technical Officer Dr. Julia Terborg.
Suriname, April 25, 2023 (PAHO/WHO) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) officially launched the 21st Vaccination Week in the Americas, an initiative that aims to mobilize concerted action across the region to boost routine and targeted immunization efforts. Taking place from 22 to 29 April, this year’s Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) campaign aims to reach more 92 million people with over 144 million doses of different vaccines in 45 countries and territories.
In Suriname, the Vaccination Week in the Americas 2023 campaign by PAHO/WHO was officially launched at the Regional Health Services at Koewarasan, Suriname. The kick-off event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, PAHO/WHO, UNICEF regional Government authorities, and staff members of RGD and Medical Mission and other health personnel.
During the launch event, the importance of vaccination was emphasized and the role of the Vaccination Week in the Americas campaign in promoting immunization was highlighted by several speakers.
PAHO/WHO Advisor, Health Systems and Services Dr. Rosmond Adams mentioned
For the past 21 years, this PAHO initiative has been celebrated in the Americas. And today, we are delighted to celebrate this week all our partners and medical personnel in Suriname as well. I hope that Suriname will take advantage of this year’s campaign to maintain the topic of immunization at the forefront of the health and political agenda. PAHO is pleased to offer technical cooperation in support of your efforts. We encourage you to increase vaccination coverage by strengthening all aspects of the immunization program, including human resource capacity and the integration of immunization into the primary healthcare.
Director of Health Dr. Rakesh Gajadhar Sukul expressed his gratitude to the partners of the Ministry of Health Suriname who ensure that vaccines are readily available for the children in Suriname. He also encouraged people not to waste these vaccines and encouraged the population to vaccinate children to protect them from preventable diseases.
The deputy Director of the Regional Health Services (RGD) Nursing Affairs Steven Tel highlighted
At the moment we have a nationwide coverage of approximately 70%, and with the slogan of this year #getuptodate #eachvaccinecounts VWA aims to bring vaccination coverage back to pre-COVID pandemic levels around the end of 2023. While vaccination is part of the RGD's regular services, in this week we are hereby emphasizing the importance of vaccination.
Following the opening of the Vaccination Week in the Americas 2023 campaign at the RGD Koewarasan, UNICEF organized a mini fair for elementary school children. The fair featured a range of activities, including dancing, arts and crafts, and other interactive games.
The aim of the fair was to engage children in fun and educational activities that promote the importance of vaccination and healthy living. UNICEF representative, Mr. Nicolas Charles Pron mentioned
UNICEF as always stands ready to support to ensure that every child is protected from vaccine preventable diseases. All partners must double down on the commitment to increase financing and accelerate catchup vaccination to protect children and prevent disease outbreaks.
The fair was a great success, with children enthusiastically participating in the activities and learning more about the importance of vaccination. The arts and crafts station, in particular, was a hit with children creating posters and banners promoting vaccination and health.
The event was also an opportunity to promote the importance of community engagement in promoting vaccination.
Overall, the launch event at the RGD Koewarasan marked an important milestone in the 2023 Vaccination Week in the Americas campaign, highlighting the commitment of Suriname and its partners to promoting the importance of vaccination and ensuring that everyone has access to life-saving immunization.