Ninety-five percent of Saint Lucia’s population is immunised but officials say more needs to be done since one individual who contracts a vaccine preventable disease could in turn infect the entire nation.
Immunisation is a process by which one becomes protected against a disease.
Nursing Supervisor Claudius Desir, while lauding St. Lucia’s current immunisation standing- which is in line with regulations set by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) – assured that immunisation campaigns will continue on the island.
“Most of our vaccine-preventable diseases are spread by droplet infection – very close contact. And we know when children are at school how close they are to each other. So any one child coming down with a vaccine preventable disease can have an entire school population and the nation on a whole, infected,” she said.
She was speaking during a maternal and child health clinic in Castries on Tuesday.
Following an Expanded Program Immunisation workshop for preschool administrators and primary school teachers last month, the Community Health Nursing Department of the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations sought to take its campaign to the general population. This primarily involves parents who wish to have their children protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
World Immunisation Week will be celebrated in the last week of April (24-30), as customary.That day aims to build awareness on the importance of immunisation to every population.
An immunisation amnesty is being offered by the ministry so that persons who have not been immunised against certain diseases can do so between April 26 and May 9, 2014.