Preventing Disease and Protecting Health
PAHO Coordinates Launches of Vaccination Week in the Americas
Washington, DC, April 21, 2004 (PAHO)—Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago will launch in Haiti on Saturday the Vaccination Week in the Americas.
She said that the week-long immunization effort throughout the Americas "demonstrates our strong commitment to work together to improve the health of the people of the Americas, especially the children."
The week-long events from April 24-30, coordinated by PAHO, will focus on the children normally left behind, those living in rural border regions, and the most vulnerable groups, including women and the elderly.
Countries from Canada to the southern tip of South America and throughout the Caribbean will take part in the unprecedented effort, which will benefit millions of children, young women, and seniors, many in remote areas.
According to PAHO figures, targets for the immunization effort in Latin America and the Caribbean include some 15 million children, 10 million adults, 10 million people over 60 years old, 1.4 million women of childbearing age, and 1.7 million people in other risk groups.
Other scheduled launch ceremonies and immunization activities in other regions of the Americas include:
PAHO's 35 countries were the first to eradicate smallpox in 1973 and polio in 1991, and are now aiming at measles and rubella.
PAHO was established in 1902 and is the world's oldest public health organization. PAHO works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and the quality of life of people of the Americas. It serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). PAHO Member States today include all 35 countries in the Americas. France, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are Participating States. Portugal and Spain are Observer States, and Puerto Rico is an Associate Member.