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PIA Press Release

DOH vaccinates 27,000 Iloilo children in 4-day anti-measles drive

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (26 October) -- Some 27,000 children in Iloilo province were vaccinated with anti-measles, reports Dr. Patricia Grace Trabado of the Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO).

Dr. Trabado said that the figure accounts only the first four days of the massive campaign which started last October 15, 2007.

She said that around 175,825 children in Iloilo province are targets to be vaccinated in order to be protected against measles or "tigdas".

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by virus. It affects mostly children. It is easily and rapidly transmitted through air or direct contact. Children who suffer from measles may experience complications including pneumonia, encephalitis, blindness, deafness, ear infection, diarrhea and dehydration.

In a PIA interview, Dr. Trabado said the anti-measles campaign will last until November 15, 2007. She lamented that what slows down our activity is the far to reach barangays, especially those that are located in the mountain-barangays, because it takes two to three hours to reach said areas but expressed high hopes that they will meet their target before November 15 considering that they have 404 vaccination teams covering the province.

It will be recalled that Dr. Ma. Salvacion dela Cruz of DOH VI said during the "Knock Out Tigdas 2007 Campaign" meeting with various stakeholders here, that the disease is expected to spread if there is no decisive action, and for measles to be controlled, a high immunization coverage must be maintained over a long period of time.

Starting October 15 to November 15, 2007, Dr. dela Cruz said that the door-to-door follow-up measles elimination campaign will be conducted nationwide. This is part of the government's continuing efforts to reduce children under-five mortality rate by two thirds by year 2015 as stipulated in the Millenium Development Goals of the World Health Organization.

On said period, some nine (9) million children all over the country will be given measles vaccine (for 9-48 months old); Vitamin A capsule (6-71 months old); and deworming drugs for 12-71 months old.

The DOH urged the public and the national, local government units and partner agencies to to work together to make every Filipino child a fully immunized child. (PIA) [top]

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