– says bumper stock of vaccines being sourcedWarnings from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) about the need for countries in the Region to increase vaccination rates for measles are not being taken lightly by Government.Public Health Minister Volda LawrenceAccording to Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence during a recent interview with the media, steps are being taken to boost Guyana’s supply of measles vaccines. In fact, she revealed that a buffer stock of such medicines is being accumulated.“You would have seen an article by the head of PAHO, speaking to the Americas and the Caribbean about measles. And that we need to be on the lookout because we need to ensure we’re immunised. Guyana is in that same line-up. We have been trying to ensure we have our vaccines and we have a buffer stock.“But given the influx of our brothers and sisters from Venezuela, we have also had to do a few things. We had to go to all our border locations and re-vaccinate those persons who could not indicate to our personnel that they were vaccinated. That is to protect our people. And then secondly, to ensure that every Venezuelan who comes across our border, that they are vaccinated.”According to Lawrence, the Government has been receiving assistance from PAHO and World Health Organisation (WHO). She also noted the regional dimension of the issues faced with immunisation.“So we have just made another order, for another set, to ensure we have that buffer being used. We have been receiving assistance from PAHO and WHO, so I’m quite certain we’ll be able to be at the top and not the bottom of the long line, given the issues we have.”“Because you can understand what’s going on in Colombia and Brazil and so on too. They are bordered by Venezuela and you’ve heard of a lot of Venezuelans going over there. So we’re all in the line, waiting.”There have been persistent reports of a shortage of basic services in Venezuela. This includes health services, due to a troubled economy and unrest that had gripped the nation. Last year, it was revealed that a measles’ outbreak occurred in the eastern Venezuelan state of Bolivar, which borders Guyana along Region One (Barima-Waini) and Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).Only a few days ago, scores of Venezuelan refugees in the Barima-Waini region, who fled their home country to escape worsened economic and social conditions, were recipients of a number of relief items distributed by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).The exercise focused on the Khan’s Hill and Whitewater communities. The mission was led by CDC Director General, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, and comprised representatives of the region’s Regional Democratic Council (RDC), the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force.Among the items distributed were food and other relief items. The food items were compliments of DeSinco Trading Limited, which donated 50 food hampers to the CDC last month. The other relief items were donations from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).Back in July, Region One Chairman Brentnol Ashley had disclosed that some 268 Venezuelan refugees are in his region alone, staying in churches and makeshift tents with little to no belongings.
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