No announcement yet.

H1N1 vaccination a must, says WHO official - 186 H1N1 cases since beginning of March

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • H1N1 vaccination a must, says WHO official - 186 H1N1 cases since beginning of March


    NAM NEWS NETWORK Mar 11th, 2010

    SERI BEGAWAN, March 11 (NNN-BRUDIRECT) — The new World Health Organisation (WHO) representative for Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore is currently in the country on a working visit.

    Dr Corinne Capuano, appointed to the post on Sept 14, 2009, presented her letter of credentials to Minister of Health, Haji Suyoi bin Hj Osman during a courtesy call at the Ministry of Health.

    The WHO representative lauded the ministry’s initiatives on the whole in an interview with the media and stressed over and over again the importance of getting H1N1 vaccine shots.

    “As you probably know, millions of people all over the world have already been vaccinated. These vaccines have the same effects, there’s no high risk and so far there have been very little side effects which are normal during vaccinations – local reactions, and a little bit of fever.

    “This vaccine is really safe as myself, my husband and three children aged 16, 14 and 12 have been vaccinated. Should this vaccine not be safe, I would probably be the first one not to vaccinate my kids but it’s definitely safe,” she said.

    Dr Hjh Rahmah, Director General of Health Services, said that until Wednesday in the month of March, 186 H1N1 cases have been confirmed in Brunei .

    “It hasn’t ended yet, that’s why the Ministry of Health calls upon members of the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible. H1N1 is still with us, we strongly encourage people to get vaccinated,” said Dr Hjh Rahmah.

    Dr Capuano also stressed its importance, saying, “No one has to die from this. Pregnant women are especially at risk, those with underlying conditions are particularly at risk. Brunei has the vaccines to cover the whole population and it’s unique. Some other countries have ceased coverage.”

    Dr Hjh Rahmah clarified the situation for pregnant women, “At the moment we are not vaccinating pregnant women, however we can help protect pregnant women if the rest of the people around her get vaccinated. Once people around pregnant women are safe from H1N1 infection, the pregnant women are automatically protected. That is the strategy at the moment.”

    The Ministry of Health is continuing with the free vaccination services at the Indoor Stadium in Berakas, which are open on the weekend, Friday to Sunday, from 2-8pm.

    Earlier in the interview, the WHO representative said, “Brunei’s health services seem to be really accessible and affordable, filling up all the main criteria that we look for. It looks very good.”

    Dr Capuano expressed her satisfaction as her three-day observation on Brunei’s health services has impressed her so far, as she visited several clinics including the Rimba Health Clinic and Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital.

    “I also visited the Health Promotion Centre (HPC) and I must say that I found it very interesting. You have these small areas tackling a specific issue. It’s very interactive and very friendly and I think that this sort of thing can make a difference,” said Dr Capuano, who also lauded the initiatives by the Ministry of Health, which according to her will be able to make a lot of positive changes to the many health concerns through the services available at the HPC such as the weight loss and quit-smoking programmes.

    “It doesn’t happen in a day or overnight. It usually takes two generations to see lifestyle or change in behaviour. So it’s really a matter of educating and it takes a long time but the HPC seems to be very good and very well set up.

    “By educating the children of today, we will see in the next few years healthy populations so I think the HPC is on the right track by educating and targeting school children. The areas for pregnant women, for example, can make a lot of difference as people are more educated on several topics such as sexually transmitted infections,” she added.

    Dr Capuano also briefed members of the media regarding the purpose of her appointment, which also includes continued visits to each represented country for discussions regarding current health trends and to identify areas of collaboration with respective ministries and authorities for the next two years.

    “One would be on communicable diseases like Hepatitis B, as well as two other activities that we will be working with the ministry – patient safety and medicine policy.

    “The other area that we will be working together is to make sure the expertise available in Brunei will be brought to the regional and international level to make good use of it,” she added.

    Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dr Capuano’s office operates under the umbrella of the Western Pacific regional office as a catalyst and advocate for action at all levels, locally and globally concerning public health issues. — NNN-BRUDIRECT/Borneo Bulletin
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela