Guyana has been listed among the 36 countries of the Region of the Americas to have switched from oral polio vaccine (tOPV), containing types 1, 2 and 3 polioviruses, to the bivalent oral vaccine (bOPV), containing only types 1 and 3.The decision for the switch in vaccine was made through the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) in June 2015 and all 36 countries successfully switched within the established timeframe, between April 17 and May 1, 2016.There are three serotypes of polioviruses, each of which can cause paralytic poliomyelitis. The Sabin oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV), which has been used globally by WHO in the eradication effort, is a trivalent vaccine that contains all three serotypes.In September 2015, WHO declared that wild poliovirus type 2 has been eradicated from the planet – no cases caused by this serotype had been detected since November 1999.However in 2015, there were nine cases of poliomyelitis caused by the type 2 vaccine. For these reasons WHO decided to remove the type 2 Sabin strain from OPV, and switch from trivalent to bivalent vaccine in April 2016.Guyana has had success with its Immunisation Programme over the last decade.This has come about with the strategies used to combat preventable diseases in children.Measles, mumps and Rubella vaccines was introduced in 1995, in 1998 – Hepatitis B to health workers and other high risk groups, in 1999 – Yellow Fever, in 2000 and 2001- Pentavalent vaccines, in 2010 – Rotavirus, in 2011 Pneumococcal vaccines.The Human Papilloma Virus Vaccines was introduced in 2011. This vaccine works as a prevention measure to fight cervical cancer and is being administered to young girls, 9-13 years of age.Active surveillance is maintained for poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, and rubella, tetanus including neonatal and adult, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), tuberculosis and yellow fever and all other diseases.We are constantly monitoring the signs and symptoms of any vaccine preventable disease. Testing and confirmation for these vaccine preventable diseases is also being done in collaboration with PAHO/WHO.Towards this end, there has been significant achievement in the EPI programme in Guyana. Guyana has maintained a polio free status since 1991, no reported cases of Measles and the last case of yellow fever was in 1968.Vaccination coverage has always been maintained at over 90 per cent in the antigens under one year of age over the last five years at the national level.This illustrates the government’s commitment to ensure that children are protected against the vulnerable diseases and reduce childhood mortality.
]BY JOYCE M. ROSENBERGAssociated PressNEW YORK – A tax deadline is fast approaching for some small-business owners – Oct. 15 is the last day to submit returns for those who got an automatic extension of the filing date back in April.Owners who are still scurrying around trying to get their returns together need to do two things: Slow down, and get the job done right. And start thinking about finding a better way to keep track of company finances going forward.When a small-business owner is still struggling to get a tax return together at this late date, usually “it’s a sign of improper recordkeeping,” said Mark Toolan, a certified public accountant in Exton, Pa. If you don’t have all your information together, you can always file an amended return later. As Goldberg noted, “That’s better than not filing.”Many taxpayers fear that an amended return can raise their chances of being audited. But, Toolan said, that shouldn’t be the case if there’s a rational, legitimate reason for an amendment.Another, sometimes related, reason why owners procrastinate is they don’t have the money to pay the government. That’s another bad reason not to file.“There are payment alternatives that taxpayers can work out with the (Internal Revenue) Service after the fact,” Goldberg said. “You should make your best guesstimate, file the return and pay as much as you can and avoid penalties that way.”Late-payment penalties are much less onerous than late-filing penalties.Jeffrey Chazen, a tax partner at the accounting firm Eisner LLP in New York, said many business owners – in particular those who are just starting out – are torn between other creditors and the government and opt to forgo their tax payment.“They think, ‘I just won’t pay Uncle Sam.’ That’s not the right person not to be paying,” he said.File, get better organizedSome last-minute filers actually have a sound business reason for waiting – they use the extension as a cash-management tool that allows them to fund retirement plans such as Simplified Employee Pensions up until the filing deadline. These owners need to remember to make those contributions by Oct. 15.Once your return is finally filed, it’s time to think about getting better organized. You’re probably going to need help – simply because it’s clear that you’re struggling to get this most basic of business tasks accomplished.So you should consider a visit to a tax professional and you should also think about hiring someone to help with record-keeping, if that has been your problem. Toolan recommends the structured accounting system that business software provides.Owners who have sloppy records really need to get organized – with 2007 more than nine months over, they’ll be looking at another chaotic filing season come the spring unless they change their ways now. Poor record-keeping often means not having a good handle on how the business is doing.“Which is worse – dealing with it over time or pushing it off till the last possible moment?” Chazen asked.And, even if money is tight and you’re afraid you won’t have enough to pay your tax bill, “try to be on top of this stuff. … Know where you stand,” he said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! That’s going to make it hard to finish a return now. But if it’s tempting to just let the deadline pass and file late, tax professionals will tell you that’s a bad idea.“All kind of nasty things happen,” including steep late-filing penalties when you don’t meet the deadline, said Walter Goldberg, executive director of the national tax office for the accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP in Washington, D.C.Pay late, but don’t file lateSo, you should do the best you can to put together as complete a return as possible, and, critically, give the IRS as good an estimate as you can of what you owe.“The IRS will generally accept a return that you have estimated as long as it is reasonable and made in good faith,” said Mel Schwarz, a partner at Grant Thornton.