(SKNIS): Minister of Health, Honourable Eugene Hamilton has described the vaccination coverage rate of St. Kitts and Nevis as “world class” during the last sitting of National Assembly, held April 27, 2016.

He was at the time acknowledging that the Federation is commemorating Vaccination Week in the Americas under the theme “Go for the Gold, Get Vaccinated.” He noted that currently, there are zero cases of measles, zero cases of polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

“This has meant, Mr. Speaker, for us less hospitalization and less expensive complications as well,” Minister Hamilton said. “Our government, my government will continue to ensure that vaccinations are provided and we are also guaranteeing that other public health programmes are continued. We give that our full support. I therefore extend appreciation to all nurses in all of the 17 health centres across the country for the outstanding work.”

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) was thanked for its four decades of outstanding work.

Minister Hamilton had specific words of advice for adults including parliamentarians.

“I urge parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated and also turn to my colleagues,” Mr. Hamilton said, speaking to his fellow parliamentarians. “Colleagues you know that we travel from time to time and we should make sure that all of us, including me – I have not yet been vaccinated except four to five years ago, against yellow fever.”

The activities in commemoration of Vaccination Week in the Americas include a day that is reserved for parliamentarians and permanent secretaries to get their vaccinations against yellow fever, specifically Tuesday, April 26. Today, April 28 there was training for national healthcare workers on the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), while tomorrow, April 29, there will be two concurrent health fairs, one in Basseterre, St. Kitts and the other in Charlestown, Nevis. Activities at the health fairs will include the vaccination of Parks and Beaches Workers along with blood pressure and blood glucose screening and point of care rapid HIV testing, as well as the customary health education.

Minister Hamilton, who is also responsible for Agriculture took the opportunity to thank all who had coordinated and participated in the Agriculture Open Day which was held April 21 and 22. He said: “I consider the two days to be a success.”