JIS News

The National Immunisation Programme now has better access to some of Jamaica’s most remote areas with the acquisition of two new motor vehicles, which promises to strengthen its efforts to achieve 100 per cent immunisation coverage.
The vehicles, valued at $5.3 million, were handed over to representatives from the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), by the Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, at the Ministry, downtown Kingston on Wednesday (October 13).
The Mitsubishi motor vehicles were provided through funding from the National Health Fund (NHF).
Mr. Spencer said that while the country is very close to achieving its goal of universal coverage for immunisation among children, there was still a need to increase activities relating to adults, especially at risk populations, such as fisher folk.
He said last year the Health Ministry made significant strides in reversing declines in important areas.
“We achieved 91.5 per cent coverage in MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) after languishing in the high 70s for some years,” the Minister disclosed.
He also noted that the country’s health regions performed significantly well in 2009, with NERHA achieving 91.4 per cent in MMR vaccine coverage, South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) achieving 86.8 per cent coverage, 95 per cent for the Southern Regional Health Authority and 92.9 per cent for the WRHA.
Mr. Spencer said the vehicles will allow health representatives entry into several areas in the western and north east regions currently inaccessible, which will facilitate more success in immunisation coverage this financial year.
He explained that these regions increased MMR coverage by an average of 5 per cent last financial year, and also performed well in other areas.
The Minister revealed that in the WRHA, BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Gu

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