Public health nurses will be out in the field from April 21 to 28 as they mount outreach programmes aimed at encouraging Barbadians to ensure that they are immunised against vaccine-preventable diseases.
As they observe Vaccination Week 2018, particular focus is being placed on the importance of the MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) vaccine because of an increase in the confirmed cases of measles internationally.
On Saturday, April 21, community outreach programmes will be conducted in the north, central and south of Barbados from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
In the north, health care providers will be at Massy Supermarket and the Eunice Byer Polyclinic, Warrens, St. Michael; the Maurice Byer Polyclinic, St. Peter; and the Branford Taitt Polyclinic, Black Rock, St. Michael. In the south, they will be at the Randal Phillips Polyclinic, Oistins, Christ Church; the St. Philip Polyclinic, Six Roads, St. Philip and the David Thompson Health and Social Services Complex, Glebe Land, St. John.
The central locations will be Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael; the Edgar Cochrane Polyclinic, Wildey, St. Michael; and the Glebe Polyclinic, Glebe Land, St. George.
Meanwhile, open days to facilitate vaccinations are also planned at polyclinics during the week. These include the Branford Taitt Polyclinic on Tuesday, April 24; the St. Philip Polyclinic on Wednesday, April 25, and the Edgar Cochrane and Glebe Polyclinics on Friday, April 27.
Additionally, public health nurses will visit day nurseries as well as hotels in their catchment areas to screen for MMR vaccine defaulters and to schedule vaccinations. The focus on hotel workers is primarily because of the high risk of exposure to visitors who may be arriving from countries where outbreaks have been identified.
Countries currently being affected by an increased number of confirmed cases of measles include Barbuda, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States and Canada.