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File image of the 2017 launch of vaccination week

Ministry of Health / Football Assoc. tackle vaccination

[Press Release] The Ministry of Health aims to improve on the 95% vaccination coverage within every health region and community on island.

Championing this thrust is the St. Lucia Football Association encouraging their members to strengthen their defense and get vaccinated.

The annual observance of Vaccination Week of the Americas was launched by the Ministry of Health and Wellness on Monday April 23rd. The theme “Strengthen your defense, Get Vaccinated, Vaccines Work,” has drawn strong support from St. Lucia Football Association (SLFA). On Saturday 28th April the Association in collaboration with the Community Nursing Service organized a health fair to provide education on vaccination to female and male national players. The importance of vaccines was highlighted by Nurse Julietta Frederick-Cassius, Manager for the Expanded Programme on Immunization.

“In addition to vaccines being our best defense against many diseases, it is the best preventative strategy in sustaining elimination or irradiation of vaccine preventable diseases among our population and keeping those diseases off our shores.”

Social and Development Officer for the SLFA, Karen Fowell explained why the association fully endorsed this activity.

“Part of the St. Lucia Association’s social agenda includes health promotion. So today we are collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Wellness on a very important initiative, vaccination and a healthcare fair. The healthcare fair will focus on affording some of our national teams, male and female the opportunity to become familiarized with health issues that could affect them in their lives and throughout the game. Additionally in celebration of Vaccination Week we are partnering with the Ministry of Health to ensure that our national teams are vaccinated because most times they are due to travel to tournaments and we as an institution want to ensure that we promote health and healthcare to our players.”

Fowell encouraged other associations, coaches and referees to participate in the vaccination drive organized by the Ministry of Health. Her message was echoed by Jamil Joseph, Coach for the National under 15 Football Team.

“Basically what we’re trying to do is to get players vaccinated, keep healthy. So we want to bring it out to the wider public so players and sports men and sports women can get vaccinated and stay healthy.”

One member of St. Lucia Women’s Football Team, Samara Edward, was grateful for the education received at the health fair.

“And we are grateful that we are there, the FA has put that in place. It shows that they are not just interested in us as footballers but they are also care about our health.”

The health fair was held at the office of the SLFA in Vide Bouteille. The Ministry of Health encourages all persons to get vaccinated to protect themselves from vaccine preventable diseases.

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