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GUYANA: Benefits of HPV vaccine touted -as Vaccination Week concludes in Moco Moco

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Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence

#Guyana, April 30, 2018 – Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence has reiterated that the myths and misconceptions of the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine must be put aside since administering the injection is the key to preventing the disease.    The Public Health Minister was speaking at the closing ceremony for Vaccination Week-Guyana on April 27 in Moco Moco village, Region Nine.

“It had been recognised that myths and other misconceptions of the HPV vaccines are being peddled.  This is hampering successful implementations and efficacy of the vaccine… Let us put aside the myths and the stories and get our girls immunised…  because when cancer comes, no myth or story can help them.  Then, parents are crying, families depressed, everybody is looking for a miracle.  The only miracle available at the moment in Guyana is the HPV Vaccine,” the minister said.

Children of Moco Moco Nursery School performing an acrostic poem on effective vaccines.

“We have the responsibility to protect our children especially our girls…we have the right and the responsibility to ensure that they are vaccinated living a healthy life without cancer,” she added.

Since 2017, the vaccination has again been made available free of charge at all public health facilities, for administered to all girls between the ages of 9 to 13 upon their parents’ approval.

UNICEF, country Representative, Paolo Marchi also supported the minister’s call for the public to be more open to the vaccination including against HPV.  He commended the Maternal and Child Health Department of the Ministryfor the robust work being undertaken to ensure there 100 percent vaccination coverage.

This is the 16th year Ministry of Public Health is collaborating with PAHO/WHO to host Vaccination Week in Guyana.  This year, as part the weeklong celebration, the Ministry chose to highlight its vaccination services countrywide especially to far-flung communities, particularly those near borders.

Residents of Moco Moco Village, Region Nine.

 

 

By: Delicia Haynes (DPI Guyana)

 

Editor’s Note:

HPV vaccine is an inactivated (not live) vaccine which protects against four major types of HPV. These include two types that cause about 70% of cervical cancer and two types that cause about 90% of genital warts. The vaccine is routinely recommended for girls 9 and 13 years of age.

From April 21-28, 2018, the Region of the Americas celebrated the 16th Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) campaign with a soccer theme in honor of the 2018 World Cup. The campaign slogan “Strengthen your defense! #GetVax #VaccinesWork” linked strengthening defense on the soccer team with strengthening the body’s defense to vaccine-preventable diseases through vaccination.

Vaccination Week in the Americas was proposed by the health ministers of countries in the Andean region as part of a response to measles outbreak in Venezuela and Colombia in 2002. Since its official launch in 2003 more than 720 million people of all ages have been vaccinated against a wide range of diseases such as measles, rubella, yellow fever, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, and influenza.

 

 

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Bahamas News

Statement From Hon. Fred Mitchell, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs On the Passing of Colin Powell

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#TheBahamas, October 18, 2021 – I learned this morning  of the death of Colin Powell, the American general and diplomat. I worked with him as Foreign Minister in my first term, particularly on issues related to Haiti.

Yesterday in the CARICOM meeting, I recalled while discussing Haiti his role in the crisis of that time. I recall his life, times and work as generally thoughtful and considered. He was also an example of Caribbean success in America, one to emulate. He was the son of Jamaican parents. He was an example of success as a Black man in America. I am saddened by his passing.

On behalf of the Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis, the government and people of The Bahamas, and in my own behalf, I extend condolences to the United States of America and his family.

 

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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Bahamas News

CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases

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October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at: https://www.carpha.org/Projects/Ongoing-Projects/Strengthening-Strategic-Intelligence-and-Partnership-Approaches-To-Prevent-and-Control-NCDs-and-Strengthen-Regional-Health-Security-In-The-Caribbean

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Bahamas News

World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes

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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  14 October, 2021.  In the Caribbean, the leading causes of blindness are glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes).  According to the Vision Atlas, 6.2 million persons in the Caribbean were reported to have vision loss, with an estimated 260,000 persons reported to be blind in 2020.

Information gathered from eighteen (18) Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) with a population of 44 million, showed that the crude prevalence of blindness was 0.60%, and the prevalence of all vision loss was 13.20%. Many of the persons affected were females at 52%.

Global statistics reveal that for 2020, a total of 596 million persons had distance vision impairment worldwide, of this number 43 million were blind.  Projections for 2050, indicate that an estimated 885 million persons may be affected by distance vision impairment with 61 million expected to experience  blindness.

CARPHA’s vision for the Caribbean is a region where the health and wellness of the people are promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby enabling human development in keeping with the belief that the health of the Region is the wealth of the Region.

Although there are no projects that directly address vision impairment, CARPHA in collaboration with its public health partners is implementing initiatives to address risk factors such as unhealthy diets, use of harmful substances and poor physical activities. This in turn, will help reduce the risk of disability due to complications associated with poor blood sugar and blood pressure management.

Efforts to improve the standards of care for diabetes through the implementation of the CARPHA Guidelines on the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean, and training of health care workers from the CARPHA Member States will also contribute to the prevention of vision impairment and blindness due to diabetes.

Access to eye care services can reduce visual impairment.  CARPHA urges Member States to strengthen health systems to improve eye health services with emphasis on reaching the vulnerable and those most in need.  Governments should commit to integrating eye care into the universal health care system.

World Sight Day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October.  The focus of the day is to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment as a major public health issue and blindness prevention.

The 2021 commemoration observed on 14th October, seeks to encourage persons to think about the ‘importance of their own eye health.’

Our eyes are working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been indoors, in front of our screens, and probably missed our eye test appointments. Now more than ever, we need to protect and prioritize our eyesight. There are simple things you can do for yourself to prevent the development of serious eye issues:

  • Take screen breaks for at least five minutes every hour
  • Spend time outside.  Increased outdoor time can reduce the risk of myopia (near-sightedness)[3]
  • Get an eye test. A complete eye exam can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma before it has an effect on your sight. The earlier an eye condition is identified, the easier it is to treat.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and engage in physical activity. These are crucial steps in maintaining a healthy weight, controlling obesity, and preventing diseases such as diabetes, all of which can impact eye health.
  • If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes checked every year

Your sight cannot be taken for granted.  It is time to LOVE YOUR EYES!

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