In its continuing efforts to build a robust immunisation programme, the Government of Barbados allocates more than $875,000 annually to purchase vaccines for its citizens through the Pan American Health Organisation???s (PAHO) Revolving Fund.

Health Minister John Boyce disclosed this last Sunday as he addressed a church service to mark the start of Vaccine Week of the Americas 2016.

Mr. Boyce explained that through the PAHO Revolving Fund, 41 countries pooled their resources to procure high-quality vaccines, syringes and related supplies for their populations at the lowest price.

Since its inception in 1977, the Fund has helped to vaccinate ???tens of millions of children and save millions of lives,??? the Health Minister stated.

He outlined some of the Fund???s key benefits to Barbados as the continuous and reliable supply of vaccines and supplies; easy access to a sustainable line of credit; and the provision of safe, effective, high-quality World Health Organisation (WHO) pre-qualified vaccines and related products.

Barbados also benefited from the creation of economies of scale that enabled bulk purchases at the lowest price, as well as from support to save lives through the elimination and reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases, Mr. Boyce added.

Due to the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), the Minister of Health revealed that there had been no indigenous cases of measles, polio, diphtheria or pertussis in Barbados in more than a decade.

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