PAHO, Saint Lucia collaborate to strengthen immunization surveillance
PAHO, Saint Lucia collaborate to strengthen immunization surveillance

Saint Lucia: The Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs Ministry, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), hosted a workshop aimed at strengthening the capacity of participants to detect, notify and investigate ‘Events Supposedly Attributable to Vaccination or Immunization’ (ESAVI), according to national guidelines.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sharon Belmar-George, said the workshop would allow for reviewing the vaccine administration process and strengthening the immunization program in Saint Lucia.

“The ESAVI surveillance system will provide us with sufficient information promptly so that we can register the side effects of vaccines against the adverse reactions. Being able to record every side effect or adverse reaction will put a lot of confidence in our health system, especially regarding the administration of new medications and vaccines,” she explained.

PAHO International Consultant for Vaccine Safety Dr Eden Augustus said the workshop helps strengthen ESAVI surveillance. He encouraged participants to apply the knowledge gained to their daily practices.

“Today’s training demonstrates PAHO’s unwavering support for Caribbean countries in strengthening national immunization programs, of which the surveillance aspect has been one of the weaker areas in the region. This training aims to strengthen ESAVI national surveillance capacities using regional and global standards as a reference, and using tools from epidemiology, data management and analysis, and communication.”

The ESAVI workshop focused on data management and analysis, detection and notification, epidemiology and risk communication.