PAHO Team Conducting Comprehensive Evaluation of Grenada’s National Immunization Program

PAHO Immunization team on mission in Grenada.

Bridgetown, May 27, 2024 (PAHO/WHO) The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is on a mission in Grenada to evaluate the country's National Immunization Program. Country representatives self-assessed the performance of the national immunization program across 13 Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) components, using a comprehensive performance management tool.

PAHO congratulated the Ministry of Health on their proactive decision to evaluate the National Immunization Program. This initiative ensures the program continues to meet the needs of all Grenadians throughout their lifetime. The outcomes of this comprehensive evaluation will guide the development of a robust national action plan, ensuring that Grenada's immunization program remains effective, efficient, and capable of protecting the health of its population against vaccine-preventable diseases.

It identified successes and areas for improvement and set priorities for the future. The outcomes were the development of a national action plan for the improvement of EPI, recommendations for immediate intervention, a defined timeline and budget for activities and the identification of gaps for further assessment or support.  

A team of three consisting of Dr. Karen Broome, PAHO Advisor, Immunization for the Caribbean sub-region and PAHO Consultants, Dr. Beryl Irons and Chisa Cumberbatch, arrived in Grenada on May 19, 2024, for the two-week mission. The first week focuses on health facility assessments in both the public and private sectors to evaluate the National Immunization Program and all its components. The second week will involve stakeholder discussions and key interviews to complete the evaluation process.

The team so far met with key stakeholders, including Minister of Health, Wellness, and Religious Affairs, The Honourable Philip A. Telesford; Permanent Secretary, Rhonda Jones; Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shawn Charles; EPI Manager, Hannah St. Paul; and other members of the health team. During these meetings, the need to prioritise vaccine-preventable diseases and strengthen the disease surveillance program to ensure early detection and control of imported cases, such as measles and polio, was emphasised. Discussions also highlighted the importance of ensuring every child is immunised against measles, rubella, polio, and pertussis to maintain the nation's health.