European Immunization Week 2022 in Armenia: WHO Regional Director for Europe and Minister of Health visit vaccination sites and thank all health workers with special WHO Award
29 April 2022
Dr Kluge handed over the International Year of Health and Care Workers Award 2021 to the Minister of Health Ms. Avanesyan and through her to all health workers.
In celebration of European Immunization Week (EIW) this week, Armenia Minister of Health, Anahit Avanesyan and WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, were joined by the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin and UNICEF Representative Christine Weigand, on a visit to a vaccination site at the polyclinic of Surb Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center, as part of Dr Kluge’s official two-day visit to Armenia.
This year, the EIW highlights the historic achievements of vaccination, including progress towards the global eradication of polio and the regional elimination of measles and rubella. It also draws attention to the potential of vaccines to achieve even more, such as control hepatitis B and eliminate cervical cancer. The hundreds of thousands of lives saved through COVID-19 vaccination in the WHO European Region alone are a recent noteworthy achievement.
Vaccination remains one of the foundations of healthier and longer lives and functioning public health systems.
Dr Kluge learned more about the National Immunization Programme’s successes and spoke with health care workers and parents of some of Armenia’s youngest citizens, who came for their scheduled routine vaccination.
The Regional Director acknowledged the ongoing efforts of the Government of Armenia to invest in routine immunization and reiterated the importance of continued commitment.
While talking to the elderly people being vaccinated against COVID-19 he commented, “Vaccines are safe and effective. Being vaccinated is extremely important, as it ensures that you protect yourselves, others, and have your personal stake in helping your country reach a crucial strategic goal to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage overall”.
Recognizing the continued dedication and commitment of Health and Care Workers to improve the health and well-being of people in Armenia and across the WHO European Region, Dr Kluge officially handed over the International Year of Health and Care Workers Award 2021 to the Minister of Health Anahit Avanesyan and through her to all health workers in Armenia.
The Regional Director highlighted that the award is a token of appreciation and gratitude for the unwavering dedication of health and care workers, including in response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years. He emphasized the urgent need to invest more in health workers for shared dividends in health, jobs, economic development, and equity.
Minister of Health Anahit Avanesyan highlighted that the Ministry had been actively implementing activities aimed at the continuous professional development of health care workers and improvement of the quality of medical services during the recent years, as well as mentioned about the programs being implemented to equip medical centers and build new ones.
Referring to the response to the pandemic, the Minister noted, "The last two difficult years have shown that it is possible to jointly record victories. Our step-by-step success in the response to the pandemic is only due to your dedication and compassionate work, dear doctors. I can proudly state that thanks to our professional approach and coordinated work, we have been able to respond to this serious challenge. Although COVID-19 has not yet been fully overcome, the vaccination process is still ongoing and development of herd immunity inspires hope that the epidemic can be curbed”.
Risk Communication and Community Engagement Consultant