Issue of April 7, 2019
Mt. Province

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Health workers to continue administering measles shots
by PNA

More health workers will be deployed to go around the different households and administer anti-measles vaccines to children, an official of the City Health Services Office (CHSO) said. 

“We are going to continue with the vaccination. There is a memo from the Department of Health extending the vaccination up to April 12. Mukhang magbibigay ng additional manpower ang DOH from a certain private organization para suyurin ang iba’t-ibang mga lugar,” City Health Officer Rowena Galpo said, Monday.

Galpo said the DOH identified 34,000 children as target for mass immunization since the program started on Feb. 12. However, as of end of March, only 44 percent of the target has been immunized.

Galpo said workers from the CHSO have mapped out the villages, going house to house to look for the target of the mass vaccination for measles and for Japanese encephalitis.

“We are working with them. The kagawad in charge of health, the barangay health workers, nurses, and other volunteers are assisting us but they did not find other children. We are actually wondering where the children are,” Galpo said.

She said the CHSO is also coordinating with private pediatricians supporting the government’s project to refer their patients to health centers for vaccination.

Galpo said they are also assessing if the estimated target was overshot, which could be the reason for the low accomplishment.

The 34,000 is 9.3 percent of the total population in the age group of six to 59 months.

However, if the number will be based on the actual live births from the local civil registry, it will only be 28,000 and the actual accomplishment will be about 60 percent.

“[It’s] still low. We still want to find the others. We are appealing to the public to come to us or let us know where they are,” Galpo said. “Siguro nga hindi pa namin na-cover lahat and we hope to increase the coverage,” she added.

Galpo said that in the last three years, there had been a decrease in the efforts to accomplish full immunization as it went below 90 percent.

“Bumaba tayo ng 86 to 85 percent, kasama angmeasles vaccination, which led to the hike in cases this year,” she said. 

She attributed the increase in cases to the continued refusal of some parents to have their children immunized for religious reasons.

“That means we were not able to maintain a certain level of immunity of at least 90 to 95 percent to say that the whole community is protected, which caused this year’s increase in cases,” Galpo said.

The CHSO recorded 233 measles cases from Jan. 1 to March 30. Around two weeks ago, the CHSO recorded 218 cases as compared to only four cases during the same period in 2018.

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