Guyana aiming to be among early adopters of microneedle patches for measles, other diseases


Though there has been no recorded case of measles here, Guyana is hoping to implement the use of microneedle patches to immunise against the disease and decrease possible occurrence in the fight against measles and other diseases.

This disclosure was made by Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, in his address at the opening ceremony of the Measles Micro Patches meeting which was held at the Marriott Hotel on Wednesday.

According to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children and is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of infected persons.

In his address, Dr Anthony said the microneedle technology would overcome a multitude of challenges associated with the traditional method of vaccination.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony

Since the current measles vaccine requires continuous refrigerated storage and the use of a needle and syringe injection, Dr Anthony said very often there is the need to reconstitute the vaccine using a diluent which can be technological and problematic.

“…When we vaccine the traditional way…you have to establish a very elaborate cold chain and in a country like Guyana we know the challenges,” Dr Anthony said.

“When you put the patch on it’s like a little plaster that you put on and that’s it – there goes your medication,” he added.

As such, Dr Anthony said the micro needle patches can be a “breakthrough” and cut waste associated with needle injections.

Meanwhile, in brief remarks, delivered virtually, PAHO’s Comprehensive Family Immunization Unit, Daniel Salas, said globally, there has been a decline in the immunization against measles.

Over the past three years, Salas said more than seven million children were unvaccinated.

He said while more than two million children were vaccinated against measles in 2021, some 1.7 million were unvaccinated.

“The challenge is to identify the imperatives and missed opportunities for vaccination that can be addressed…. It is important to inform and incorporate patches developers…to facilitate the most expeditive development of ‎MR and MAP) (Measles-rubella microarray patch) to address the most urgent public needs in our countries,” Salas said in brief remarks.

The two day workshop will see countries including Trinidad, Suriname and Barbados participating in discussions as to how the new technology can be utilized to eliminate measles and other non-communicable diseases in the coming years.

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  1. Don A Gomes says


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