Introduction of new vaccines aided reduction in child mortality – MCH Director
Significant strides have been made in the past year to improve the service offered by the Maternal and Child Health/Expanded Programme on Immunisation offered by the Ministry of Health. And according to Director of the MCH Unit, Dr Janice Woolford, there has been a noticeable reduction in the number of child mortality, which was aided by the introduction of two new vaccines over a short space of time.
“In October, and in some areas by June last year, we had introduced the rotavirus vaccine in a phased approach, and by November/December, all the Regions were using rotavirus vaccines. And quite recently we have introduced pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 13. So I want to say a special thanks to the hard working health workers.”
However, in recognition of the fact that the public health sector continues to face challenges in the area of maternal health, Dr Woolford noted that efforts will be made to strive during this year to focus on the improvement and quality of care. This, she noted, is likely to be attained by sustained monitoring and supervision to ensure that the standards of care are met.
As part of the efforts to encourage health workers to embrace a result-oriented programme for this year, individuals and Regions were recognised yesterday for their contribution to improving the delivery of the MCH service last year.
Receiving the Regional Epidemiology award yesterday, which was donated by PAHO/WHO, was Region Six. According to Dr Woolford, the criteria for receiving this award was that the Region had to be adjudged the best performing Region having attained the highest coverage and antigen, that is, exceeding 95 percent. Timely reporting on EPI activities coverage and maintain good surveillance was also a crucial factor, she added.
“When we looked at the new vaccines’ coverage, that Region (Region Six) had displayed almost half of the under one population.” This is the third consecutive year that Region Six has secured the coveted award.
Meanwhile, the award for the health worker of the year was copped by Acting Senior Health Visitor for Region Two, Medex Andrea Budburgh. She was presented with the outstanding award, in the form of a trophy, for displaying a high level of commitment and eagerness to the MCH programme, even as she contributed to outlined goals and targets in this regard. According to Dr Woolford, Budburgh also helped to promote community programmes, thus she was duly recognised and rewarded. Region Two was also recognised for maintaining very good surveillance last year.
Source: Kaieteur News