DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Department of Health in Region 11 has emphasized the need for children to undergo anti-measles vaccination after 39 patients died of the viral disease from November 2017 to May 2018.
Evelyn Hauac, DOH 11 National Immunization program manager, said children need to be vaccinated twice to prevent the spread of the measles among other vulnerable people in the communities.
“Vaccination has been proven to be the most effective public intervention. Since the last mass immunization campaign in 2014, there has been a significant reduction in measles transmission,” Hauac said.
In the last quarter of 2017,a measles outbreak was declared due to the high number of fatalities that led to the Outbreak Response Immunization in which children, from 6 months to 59 months of age, were given vaccines.
DOH 11 record showed that Davao City has the highest number of suspected patients with measles reaching to 797 cases, followed by Davao del Norte with 234, and Compostela Valley with 130 cases.
In Davao Oriental,authorities have recorded 71, Davao del Sur have 33 and in Davao Occidental, they recorded a total of 24 cases.
To curb the number of infected patients in the region, the DOH launched anew the National Measles Supplemental Immunization (SIA), dubbed as Ligtas Tigdas.
The agency targets to immunize a total of 288,501 people all over the region with its P1.2 million budget for the procurement of vaccines and syringes.
Meanwhile, Hauac also assured parents and guardians that the measles vaccine are safe as “we have been using it since the 1970’s.”
She also added that the measles vaccination has saved millions of lives. (davaotoday.com)