BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today,
11 Feb 2010
THE Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced a national immunisation programme to distribute chickenpox vaccinations across the UAE.
The Higher Committee for National Immunisation has approved the vaccinations and procedures to be implemented in the UAE market.
According to a senior MoH member, the step comes in line with the regional and international moves in this regard, in tandem with instructions of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dr Mahmood Fekri, executive director for Health Policies Affairs in the MoH, said, "The actual implementation of the immunisation programme will begin immediately after importing the vaccination and will be available at the market by the third quarter of the year."
"The preventive medicine of the MoH will provide the vaccinations to the health clinics at schools as part of the national immunisation strategy," he added.
The committee also examined several suggestions and new programmes to curb spread of several diseases. In addition, the committee proposed the necessity of sending an application to the GCC Ministers of Health Executive Office, for issuance of common vaccination purchase orders according to the rules and regulations in the GCC council.
A specialised gulf technical committee will draft conditions for finalising the effective vaccinations at the time of submitting tenders and completing purchase operations.
According to Dr Fekri, the vaccinations strategies will be put into place in coordination with experts adhering to the WHO norms.
"This is the second vaccination drive, approved by the national immunisation programme, followed by the MOH programmes, to prevent cerebral and pulmonary infections caused by coliform bacteria that attack newborn babies," he noted.
"The committee also proposed addition of hexagon vaccination which includes six types of vaccinations on condition that it should be provided after two months of birth," he added.
Dr Fekri said that with the approval of the health minister, a specialised vaccination committee will be formed to stipulate general and technical conditions, to make bulk purchase of vaccination drugs.
Also, a three-member committee will be formed to examine the new vaccinations and prevention procedures for cervical cancer.
"The team will also study the available vaccinations that have been approved by the WHO and it will present a detailed report about its efficiency, side effects and age categories," Dr Fekri added.