Health professionals meet to validate immunisation policy


Delegates in group discussions after the presentations

Attending the opening ceremony held at the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayan Diagnostic Centre were Minister for Health Mitcy Larue, acting principal secretary for health Dr Jude Gedeon, World Health Organisation (WHO) liaison officer Dr Cornelia Atsyor, high officials from the ministry, nurses and other health professionals.

In her opening speech, Mrs Larue said the validation of the EPI policy is an important milestone in the endeavour to further strengthen disease prevention and control in the country.

“If today Seychelles has achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals compared to other countries within the region, it is because immunisation has been a key component in reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating diseases,” she said.

Mrs Larue added that Seychelles is now at certification for Polio free status. 
This is achieved with high commitment of the government of Seychelles in supporting the country’s National Immunisation Programme activities, she said.

The current health sector reforms and the drive for cost-effectiveness call for re-orientation in the co-ordination, planning, management, monitoring and evaluation of immunisation services.
Mrs Larue said the introduction of the new immunisation policy will open new areas for monitoring and running of field work.

“Furthermore, it will help get access to the simplest, safest and most effective strategies for vaccine handling and serve as the basis to develop appropriate guidelines, work plans and strategies for health workers at all levels,” she said.

The EIP is integrated into the maternal and child health programme as well as into the school health programmes delivered by the community health facilities.
It is based on the WHO/United Nations Children’s Fund guidelines and other national and international standards.

Among its objectives it seeks to attain and maintain 100% coverage for all EPI vaccines in the next five years and to introduce new vaccines and technologies into the national immunisation programmes.

Presentations on the background and overview of the EPI policy were given followed by discussions and questions from those taking part in the workshop.
After the presentations, they worked in groups to share suggestions and discuss ways to improve the draft policy.