Immunisation programme nurses rewarded


25-April-2012

The nurses and support staff who were rewarded in a souvenir photograph with guests at yesterday’s ceremony

This was during a ceremony yesterday to mark the second African vaccination week.
The ceremony, held at the Sheikh Khalifa’s Diagnostic Centre at the Seychelles Hospital, was attended by the ambassador for children and women’s affairs Dr Erna Athanasius and the public health commissioner Dr Jude Gedeon.

Also present was the World Health Organisation (WHO) liaison officer Dr Cornelia Atsyor, who is also a vaccine expert, and the Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI) manager Florida Bijoux.

The week was officially launched under the theme: “An unvaccinated child is one too many” with the sub theme: ‘Give polio the last push’.

Noting that Seychelles is planning to give polio the last push very soon, Dr Gedeon said that polio is on WHO’s top list of eradication, adding that without vaccinations many would have perished from these communicable diseases.

He thanked the WHO for its support as well as the government for supplying vaccines and vaccination products.

Dr Atsyor said due to polio eradication efforts, eight million people are walking today who would otherwise be paralysed.

“At the moment the world is close to eradicating poliomyelitis from the face of the earth, a scourge that has caused debilitating illness and paralysis of children worldwide.”

She added that there has been over 99.8% reduction in the global burden of polio diseases and it is now limited to very few countries.

She said immunisation not only protects children from vaccine preventable diseases, it also serves as a platform to deliver other life-saving interventions to all age groups.

Dr Atsyor commended the Seychelles government for the strong and unwavering support it has given to health, especially to the vaccination programme.

During the ceremony Mrs Bijoux gave a presentation on the history, achievements and challenges in EPI.

There was also the launch of the best performance award in EPI targeting health centres and other units administering vaccines.

Two veterans in EPI – Lucy Andrew and Lindy Lucas -- were also rewarded.

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