Address of the First Lady of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, on the Elimination of Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome in the Americas
Discurso de la primera Dama de la Republica Dominicana, Dra. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, sobre la eliminación de la rubéola y del síndrome de rubéola congénita en las Américas
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"When Englishman Edward Jenner invented the first vaccine, against smallpox, no one could imagine what it would mean for humanity as the first link in a chain of scientific discovery that has prevented the spread of viruses, controlled epidemics, and eradicated diseases, thus preventing widespread suffering, sequelae, and deaths...Rubella in the Dominican Republic and other countries of the Americas is already history; we now have the guarantee that each developing life will be free from infection with that virus, provided that we maintain surveillance to prevent its reintroduction while the disease is still present in the Hemisphere and the rest of the world. And this is a real challenge, since thanks to the Hemisphere’s immunization activities, each year we have been able to prevent some 20,000 cases of congenital rubella syndrome in the Americas; if the rubella elimination activities had not taken place, each infected patient would have represented an expenditure of roughly US$ 60,000 dollars in direct and indirect costs, not counting the consequent serious sequelae, such as blindness, deafness, and heart defects and their impact on families and society as a whole...In this globalized world virtually without borders, the eradication of endemic diseases cannot be confined to a single country, region, or continent, but has global dimensions. Thus, it has become increasingly necessary that all citizens of the world be aware of what not having a vaccine accessible to everyone who needs it means..."
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