Group picture during successful workshop on ESAVI Surveillance in Suriname
Suriname, March 30, 2023 (PAHO) – The Ministry of Health (MoH) in Suriname, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), hosted a successful awareness training workshop on strengthening technical capacities in ESAVI Surveillance on March 30, 2023. ESAVI is an acronym for Events Supposedly Attributable to Vaccination or Immunization. The workshop aimed to improve understanding and implementation of the ESAVI Surveillance System, which is crucial for ensuring vaccine safety.
The main objective of the workshop was to increase awareness of ESAVI national surveillance capacities using regional and global standards as a reference, and using tools from epidemiology, data management and analysis, communication, and case studies to be developed during the program.
Dr. Lilian Reneau-Vernon, the PAHO/WHO Representative, opened the workshop, emphasizing the importance of ESAVI surveillance in ensuring the safety of vaccines. She highlighted the significance of strengthening technical capacities in ESAVI surveillance, and how the training program will enhance the knowledge and skills of professionals involved in ESAVI surveillance at the national and subnational levels.
The workshop featured several presentations from experts in the field of vaccine safety, including a team from PAHO, who discussed the various aspects of ESAVI surveillance. The speakers included Mr. Kern Rocke, an International Consultant focusing on vaccine safety in the Americas region; Ms. Eden Augustus, an International Consultant also focusing on vaccine safety in the Americas region; Mrs. Lisa Bayley, a Communication Specialist at PAHO; and Ms. Courtney Sciarratta, who serves as the PAHO/CDC liaison for vaccine safety.
The Ministry of Health Suriname Policy Officer Ms. Sonam Manbodh represented the Director of Health, Dr. Rakesh Gajadhar Sukul and the National Immunization Program (NIP) was represented by Dr. Richard Kartomo, the NIP manager. The Ministry of Health, particularly the National Immunization Program (NIP), expressed its gratitude for the invaluable technical support and guidance provided by PAHO throughout the planning and execution of the ESAVI Surveillance Workshop.
The workshop was moderated by Dr. Julia Terborg, Family Planning and Lifecycle/Immunization Technical Officer at PAHO/WHO and the presentations covered a wide range of topics related to ESAVI surveillance, including the definition and importance of ESAVI surveillance, Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI), the ESAVI surveillance system, data analysis and feedback, and promoting ESAVI awareness.
The speakers emphasized the importance of ESAVI surveillance in ensuring the safety and efficacy of vaccines. They explained the difference between expected and unexpected adverse events and provided examples of common adverse events and their symptoms. They also provided an overview of the ESAVI surveillance system, including the role of healthcare providers, vaccine administrators, and the general public in reporting adverse events following immunization.
The workshop discussed the feedback mechanisms for healthcare providers and vaccine administrators and explained how ESAVI data is analyzed and used to improve vaccine safety. The speakers also outlined various methods for promoting awareness about ESAVI and vaccine safety, including education and training, communication and outreach, stakeholder engagement, and active monitoring and reporting.
The workshop was attended by a diverse group of participants from various health institutions. These included relevant staff of MoH central office, EPI managers and personnel, epidemiologists involved in ESAVI surveillance, key staff of Medical Mission, Regional Health services and general practitioners involved in surveillance, key hospital staff directly involved in ESAVI surveillance (from all hospitals), PAHO/WHO representatives, the PAHO country office team, UNICEF representatives, and COVAB.
In conclusion, the Ministry of Health in Suriname and PAHO have taken a significant step towards ensuring vaccine safety by hosting a successful ESAVI Surveillance Workshop. The workshop provided a platform for experts and stakeholders to discuss and improve understanding and implementation of the ESAVI surveillance system. The attendees gained valuable insights that will help them in their roles as healthcare providers, vaccine administrators, and members of the general public. The Ministry of Health in Suriname and PAHO have demonstrated their commitment to ensuring vaccine safety in the Americas region.