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Wednesday, October 01 2014 @ 01:57 AM EDT

Translation of MINSA Press Release Rescinding Yellow Fever Requirement

Healthcare

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The following press release came from the web page of Panama's Ministry of Health. It's entitled "Yellow Fever Communique Number 3 - 16 October 2008". In a nutshell it basically says that the government of Panama has reevaluated their decision from August 2008, and they are now going to make vaccination against Yellow Fever a recommendation rather than a requirement. A translation of the press release follows: (more)

Translation of MINSA Press Release:

  • Yellow Fever Official Notice Number 3, 16 October 2008

  • Since in the Republic of Panama there have been no cases of Yellow Fever since 1974 and considering;

    • 1. International agreements on health subjects;

    • 2. That the subject of countries with the risk of transmission of Yellow Fever will be discussed in the General Assembly of the World Health Organization during the first quarter of 2009;

    • 3. The reciprocity policies that other countries are applying, and;

    • 4. That we are fortifying the system of vigilance at a national level, including the points of exit and entry of the country in order to identify and to give an opportune answer before events of public health of international interest;


  • The Ministry of Health of Panama has reevaluated the measure established on 5 August 2008 related to the application of the vaccination against Yellow Fever, and has decided;


    • 1. That the application of the vaccine against Yellow Fever, as of 1 November 2008, will be a RECOMMENDATION and not a requirement for travelers coming from or going to countries with a risk of transmission of this disease;

    • 2. After analyzing the epidemiological situation of Yellow Fever of the countries at risk of transmission, we recommend the application of the vaccine against Yellow Fever for travelers who are coming from or traveling to the following countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela in South America, and Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leon and Sudan in Africa.

    • 3. Travelers coming from these countries, upon their arrival in Panama, will be given a pamphlet with the signs and symptoms of Yellow Fever, with instructions that if they come down with any of these symptoms they should contact 800-8743 (TELEURGE) to be taken care of by health personnel.

    • 4. Those travelers in transit who enter the country through airports, ports, and border crossings, independent of their country of origin, are exempt from the observance of these measures.

    • 5. In order to facilitate the application of the vaccine to travelers, besides the existing locations in the Metropolitan Region of Health, located in Los Rios (in the reverted area); in the facilities of the Extended Immunization Program on Ave Balboa near the former US Embassy, in the offices of International Maritime Health located in the Port of Cristóbal, in the province of Colon, and in the Office of the Regional Coordination of Epidemiology, in the district of David in the province of Chiriquí; two new locations of international vaccination will be opened, one in the province of Herrera and the other in the province of Coclé.

    • 6. As an additional preventive measure, those people who enter the country and who travel to the Eastern part of the province of Panama, to the Darién and to the region of the Kuna Yala within the Republic of Panama, it is recommended to apply the Yellow Fever vaccine at least ten days prior to traveling to those areas.

    • 7. We will reinforce through different strategies, orientation provided to travelers in order to inform them as to the advantages of being vaccinated when traveling to countries with the risk of transmission of Yellow Fever and the importance of seeking prompt medical attention in case they present the symptoms of the disease after having traveled to some of these areas.


  • In conclusion, the Panamanian Ministry of Health has decided to fortify the preventive measures and of epidemiological monitoring to safeguard the lives of the population without affecting the international transit of people nor of commerce, as established in the 2005 International Sanitary Regulation.

  • Finally, we exhort state institutions, the media, companies tied to the transportation of passengers, as well as the embassies and consulates from the different countries to widely disclose these measures to benefit the national and international public health; as well as to recommend to people who are going to travel to contact the airlines or travel agencies and to ask them for the health requirements demanded by the countries for the entry into their territory.

  • Given in Panama City on the 16th of October, 2008

And There You Have It: You can almost hear the Three Stooges music in the background as these guys stumble around the table, poke on-another in the eye, and finally figure this thing out. You would have expected that they would have been able to predict the future, just a little bit, when they implemented this thing first in August 2008 with a 1 Oct 2008 start date. This whole Yellow Fever thing became a story in the end of September when the airlines started following instructions. Then, the government kicked it back 30 days to give people a chance to get their acts together. Now, a complete and total punt, making what was a hard and fast requirement no more than a "recommendation." Golly, thanks for the jerk-around, guys. Hey, it's not like we're busy or anything. Is there anything else you'd like us to waste time doing?

COMUNICADO DE FIEBRE AMARILLA No.3

16/10/2008

Dado que en la República de Panamá no se han evidenciado casos de Fiebre Amarilla desde 1974 y considerando:

1. Los acuerdos internacionales en materia de salud

2. Que el tema de países con riesgo de transmisión de fiebre amarilla será discutido en la Asamblea General de la Organización Mundial de la Salud durante el primer cuatrimestre del año 2009,

3. Las políticas de reciprocidad que están aplicando otros países, y,

4. Que estamos fortaleciendo el sistema de vigilancia a nivel nacional, incluyendo los puntos de entrada y salida del país a fin de identificar y dar respuesta oportuna ante eventos de salud pública de interés internacional,

El Ministerio de Salud de Panamá ha reevaluado la medida establecida el 5 de agosto de 2008 relacionada a la aplicación de la vacuna contra la fiebre amarilla, y ha dispuesto:

Que la aplicación de la vacuna contra la Fiebre Amarilla, a partir del 1 de noviembre de 2008 será una RECOMENDACIÓN y no una exigencia para los viajeros procedentes o con destino a países con riesgo de transmisión de esta enfermedad.

2. Luego de analizar la situación epidemiológica de la Fiebre Amarilla de los países con riesgo de transmisión, recomendamos la aplicación de la vacuna contra la Fiebre Amarilla a los viajeros procedentes o con destino a los siguientes países: Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú y Venezuela en América del Sur y Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Camerún, República Democrática del Congo, Gabón, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leona y Sudán en África.

3. A los viajeros procedentes de estos países, a su llegada al país se les entregará un instructivo que contiene los signos y síntomas de la Fiebre Amarilla y de presentar alguno de estos, debe comunicarse al teléfono 800 – 8743 (TELEURGE) para ser atendido por un personal de salud.

4. Quedan exentos del acatamiento de estas medidas los viajeros en tránsito a través de aeropuertos, puertos y puestos interfronterizos, independientemente del país del que procedan.

5. Para facilitar la aplicación de la vacuna a los viajeros, además de los puestos existentes en la Región Metropolitana de Salud, ubicada en Los Ríos (área revertida); en las instalaciones del Programa Ampliado de Inmunizaciones (PAI), detrás de la antigua sede de la Embajada de Estados Unidos en la Avenida Balboa; en la Oficina de Sanidad Marítima Internacional ubicada en el Puerto de Cristóbal, en la provincia de Colón; y en la Oficina de la Coordinación Regional de Epidemiología, en el distrito de David, provincia de Chiriquí; se abrirán dos nuevos puestos de vacunación internacional, uno en la provincia de Herrera y el otro en la provincia de Coclé.

6. Como medida preventiva adicional, a las personas que ingresen al país y que se dirijan a Panamá Este, Darién y la comarca Kuna Yala en la República de Panamá, se les recomienda vacunarse contra la Fiebre Amarilla al menos 10 días antes de su traslado a estas áreas geográficas.

7. Se reforzará a través de diferentes estrategias, las orientaciones a los viajeros fin de informarles sobre las ventajas de estar vacunado cuando se dirigen a países con riesgo de transmisión de fiebre amarilla y de la importancia de buscar atención médica oportuna en caso de presentar síntomas de esta enfermedad posterior a la visita a alguna de estas áreas geográficas.

En conclusión, el Ministerio de Salud de Panamá, ha decidido fortalecer las medidas preventivas y de vigilancia epidemiológica para salvaguardar la vida de la población sin afectar el tránsito internacional de personas ni el comercio, como lo establece el Reglamento Sanitario Internacional 2005.

Finalmente, exhortamos a las instituciones estatales, medios de comunicación, empresas vinculadas al transporte de pasajeros, así como a las embajadas y consulados de los distintos países a que divulguen ampliamente estas medidas en beneficio de la salud pública nacional e internacional; así como recomendar a las personas que vayan a viajar a que contacten con las líneas aéreas o agencias de viaje y les soliciten los requisitos sanitarios exigidos por los países para el ingreso a su territorio.

Dado en la ciudad de Panamá a los dieciséis (16) del mes de octubre de dos mil ocho (2008).

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