Colombian National Army Supports Nationwide Immunization Campaign

Colombian National Army Supports Nationwide Immunization Campaign

By Dialogo
March 12, 2015




The Colombian National Army is playing a key role in the country's nationwide vaccination campaign, helping to bring health care and social services to impoverished and remote regions, including in conflict zones.

In February, the Hospital Militar Regional de Occidente joined the launch of the first national vaccination campaign of 2015, “Let’s Promote Vaccination,” in collaboration with the mayor's office in Santiago de Cali, the municipal Public Health Department, and the "Batalla de Pichincha" 8th Infantry Battalion, part of the 3rd Brigade.

“Not being vaccinated is a risk factor for public health and exposes us to disease outbreaks that have already been eradicated in our country, such as measles,” Dr. Diego Alejandro García Londoño, coordinator of the National Immunization Program, said at the launch of the campaign. “That’s why we invite everyone to begin 2015 by getting our children vaccinated, as we also try to capture those who couldn’t do so in 2014.”

The Colombian Health Ministry expects to immunize close to 128,000 children in this year's initial campaign. In recent years, the Health Ministry has invested more than 500,000 pesos (approximately $190,000) to guarantee the inclusion of new vaccines and to offer the population 18 free vaccines that protect against 24 illnesses.

An ongoing effort by the Armed Forces


The Armed Forces is committed to assisting the Expanded Immunizations Program (PAI, for its Spanish acronym) reach the communities and populations which are in most need of health care.

“The Armed Forces’ health system works every year to guarantee the implementation of strategies that lead to the fulfillment of the international commitments to reach 95 percent or higher of immunization coverage of each of the vaccines of the PAI,” the Army said in a statement.

Lieutenant Colonel Clara Inés Moreno Cometa, the hospital's scientific deputy director; Dr. Liliana Alarcón Luna, local health director and PAI coordinator in Cali; and Dr. Harold Alberto Suárez Calle, municipal Public Health Secretary, joined forces during the day to work with the community.

In addition to providing vaccines, the Military medical personnel conducted prevention efforts by providing educational discussions and setting up games for children and youths.

Such activities are part of the Army's mission to assist the civilian population. For example, in early March, the Army helped provide health care and dental services to about 2,500 people -- including 100 families in extreme poverty -- during a two-day program provided by the Apolo Task Force, the Mayor’s Office, the 28th Mobile Brigade, and the Office of Territorial Consolidation in the municipality of Florida, in the Department of Valle del Cauca.

Medical personnel also dispensed free medications to those who needed them. They also provided information about government campaigns against domestic violence and family planning, according to the press office of the Apolo Task Force.

The Armed Forces contribute to social initiatives


Providing public health services is one of the ways the Armed Forces are providing assistance to the civilian population, including people who live in conflict zones, according to Elvira Cuadra, executive director of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Public Policies (IEEPP) in Nicaragua.

With these social initiatives, the Army seeks to reach vulnerable residents, including those who live on the periphery of civil society.

An example of this occurred recently in Nueva Antioquia, a remote area in the Department of Vichada, where the "Coronel Arturo Herrera Castaño" 28th Engineer Battalion, 28th Jungle Brigade, 8th Division, coordinated with the government of Vichada, local officials, the National Police, the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare, and other entities to provide health care and social services.

“To many Colombians, going to the doctor or the dentist is a routine activity done when necessary, but to the majority who lives in remote areas, it is a wish hard to fulfill,” according to a statement from the 8th Division press office.

Helping to provide health care and social services to remote areas of the country helps the Armed Forces strengthen ties with the civilian population.

“This type of event seeks to generate an environment of trust towards the State and its representatives in the community,” the 8th Division statement said. It “was once again bringing prosperity to the most disadvantaged residents of Vichada, and extending a helping hand to those who have waited for years for the region's development.”

Safeguarding the well-being of the nation's most vulnerable residents is part of the Army's mission to provide security for the country. The Army has dedicated itself to helping provide health care and social services to residents in need for years.

For example, in December, Lieutenant Colonel Lizette Gonzalez Gallego collaborated with the Health and Social Protection Ministry to lead the fourth regional vaccination campaign in the medical center of the "José María Córdova" 5th Infantry Battalion in the city of Santa Marta, Magdalena Department. The goal of the initiative was to vaccinate most of the city's children up to the age of 5.



The Colombian National Army is playing a key role in the country's nationwide vaccination campaign, helping to bring health care and social services to impoverished and remote regions, including in conflict zones.

In February, the Hospital Militar Regional de Occidente joined the launch of the first national vaccination campaign of 2015, “Let’s Promote Vaccination,” in collaboration with the mayor's office in Santiago de Cali, the municipal Public Health Department, and the "Batalla de Pichincha" 8th Infantry Battalion, part of the 3rd Brigade.

“Not being vaccinated is a risk factor for public health and exposes us to disease outbreaks that have already been eradicated in our country, such as measles,” Dr. Diego Alejandro García Londoño, coordinator of the National Immunization Program, said at the launch of the campaign. “That’s why we invite everyone to begin 2015 by getting our children vaccinated, as we also try to capture those who couldn’t do so in 2014.”

The Colombian Health Ministry expects to immunize close to 128,000 children in this year's initial campaign. In recent years, the Health Ministry has invested more than 500,000 pesos (approximately $190,000) to guarantee the inclusion of new vaccines and to offer the population 18 free vaccines that protect against 24 illnesses.

An ongoing effort by the Armed Forces


The Armed Forces is committed to assisting the Expanded Immunizations Program (PAI, for its Spanish acronym) reach the communities and populations which are in most need of health care.

“The Armed Forces’ health system works every year to guarantee the implementation of strategies that lead to the fulfillment of the international commitments to reach 95 percent or higher of immunization coverage of each of the vaccines of the PAI,” the Army said in a statement.

Lieutenant Colonel Clara Inés Moreno Cometa, the hospital's scientific deputy director; Dr. Liliana Alarcón Luna, local health director and PAI coordinator in Cali; and Dr. Harold Alberto Suárez Calle, municipal Public Health Secretary, joined forces during the day to work with the community.

In addition to providing vaccines, the Military medical personnel conducted prevention efforts by providing educational discussions and setting up games for children and youths.

Such activities are part of the Army's mission to assist the civilian population. For example, in early March, the Army helped provide health care and dental services to about 2,500 people -- including 100 families in extreme poverty -- during a two-day program provided by the Apolo Task Force, the Mayor’s Office, the 28th Mobile Brigade, and the Office of Territorial Consolidation in the municipality of Florida, in the Department of Valle del Cauca.

Medical personnel also dispensed free medications to those who needed them. They also provided information about government campaigns against domestic violence and family planning, according to the press office of the Apolo Task Force.

The Armed Forces contribute to social initiatives


Providing public health services is one of the ways the Armed Forces are providing assistance to the civilian population, including people who live in conflict zones, according to Elvira Cuadra, executive director of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Public Policies (IEEPP) in Nicaragua.

With these social initiatives, the Army seeks to reach vulnerable residents, including those who live on the periphery of civil society.

An example of this occurred recently in Nueva Antioquia, a remote area in the Department of Vichada, where the "Coronel Arturo Herrera Castaño" 28th Engineer Battalion, 28th Jungle Brigade, 8th Division, coordinated with the government of Vichada, local officials, the National Police, the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare, and other entities to provide health care and social services.

“To many Colombians, going to the doctor or the dentist is a routine activity done when necessary, but to the majority who lives in remote areas, it is a wish hard to fulfill,” according to a statement from the 8th Division press office.

Helping to provide health care and social services to remote areas of the country helps the Armed Forces strengthen ties with the civilian population.

“This type of event seeks to generate an environment of trust towards the State and its representatives in the community,” the 8th Division statement said. It “was once again bringing prosperity to the most disadvantaged residents of Vichada, and extending a helping hand to those who have waited for years for the region's development.”

Safeguarding the well-being of the nation's most vulnerable residents is part of the Army's mission to provide security for the country. The Army has dedicated itself to helping provide health care and social services to residents in need for years.

For example, in December, Lieutenant Colonel Lizette Gonzalez Gallego collaborated with the Health and Social Protection Ministry to lead the fourth regional vaccination campaign in the medical center of the "José María Córdova" 5th Infantry Battalion in the city of Santa Marta, Magdalena Department. The goal of the initiative was to vaccinate most of the city's children up to the age of 5.
How I would like the Venezuelan Armed Forces to enter into these actions imitating Brazil and Colombia, and not getting ready to fight a supposed war against the U.S.A. Colombia isn't the only one to suffer from the scourge of terrorism, but this is because of so much corruption that exists and remains in government entities.
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