Dumaguete conducts massive anti-measles vaccination campaign
by Jennifer C. Tilos
Dumaguete City (15 October) -- Some 126,041 children aged 9 months to 48 months or (4 years old) in Negros Oriental will receive anti-measles vaccination regardless of whether there were previous immunization or shots already administered on October 15 to November 15, 2007.
The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) here has intensified its campaign on "Knock-Out Tigdas" as some 51 cases or children were infected with measles last year, however, as of September 2007 only 9 cases were reported.
This "Knock-Out Tigdas 2007" is a sequel to the 1998 and 2004 "Ligtas Tigdas" mass measles immunization campaign. This is a second follow-up measles campaign nationwide to eliminate measles infection as a public health problem.
Targeted children within the risk bracket in the province will be visited by the health worker to their respective houses to ensure that no eligible child is missed during the immunization.
This door-to-door health campaign, a vaccination team member will mark the immunized child with a gentian violet on his posterior upper left earlobe, likewise the house shall be marked appropriately.
Other health care services that the children will receive under Garantisadong Pambata which also integrated in the campaign, include Vitamin A and deworming as well as health education on safe toys.
"Knock-Out Tigdas 2007" aims to reduce the number or pool of children at risk of getting measles or being susceptible to measles that have built up since 2004 and to achieve at least 95% measles immunization coverage of all targeted children.
Assistant Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Edgar Barredo of IPHO, cited the program towards making the Philippines measles-free is being carried down to local government units through the IPHO, has shown positive results.
Dr. Barredo said the campaign is in support of the government's continuing efforts to reduce deaths among children below five years old.
THE United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has cited the Philippines as the first country in Asia and one of the few in the world to aim for the elimination of measles, a major killer among children worldwide.
Also with the final passage of the Quality Affordable Medicines Act, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said this will be a major milestone government's efforts to promote better health and longer productive lives for the Filipinos.
When enacted into law, the President said the measure would provide the legal framework to allow the production of cheaper medicines in the Philippines instead of sourcing them from abroad. (PIA) [top]