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Haitian Government, Health Workers Show Commitment To Nationwide Vaccination Campaign

In this post in the Huffington Post Blog, Dagfinn Hoybraten, vice president of the Norwegian Parliament and chair of the GAVI Alliance Board, examines a nationwide vaccination campaign in Haiti, through which “[h]ealth officials are targeting measles, rubella and polio and [are] also introducing pentavalent vaccine, one shot against five diseases.” He writes, “Questions have been raised, understandably, about whether the international community has done enough to help” after an earthquake devastated the country in 2010, but “the nationwide vaccination campaign is a powerful sign of Haitians helping themselves.”

“As Norway’s former Minister of Health, I know that preventive health measures in general, and vaccines in particular, are the most effective way to improve public health,” Hoybraten writes. “It is gratifying to see the commitment of [Haiti's Minister of Health and Population,] Minister Guillaume, her colleagues, and the health workers to ensure that their people get access to these lifesaving health tools,” he continues, adding, “It is impressive to see how they accomplish this despite challenging surroundings.” Hoybraten concludes, “Haiti has also been approved to provide vaccines against pneumonia and rotavirus with GAVI’s support. These vaccines will address two of the leading causes of child deaths and decrease the number of Haitian children under five who don’t make it to their fifth birthday” (5/15).