CHO intensifies measles surveillance drive
THE Bacolod City Health Office (CHO) has intensified its measles surveillance drive following the increase of suspected cases in the province.
The CHO is focused on immunizing the children in various barangays who failed to avail a vaccine for protection against measles, locally known as “tigdas.”
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier announced that it has expanded the measles outbreak declaration to Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas.
“Since last year, with or without the outbreak, we are intensifying our surveillance to immunize the children less than five-year-old to prevent them from illnesses such as measles,” said City Health Officer Ma. Carmela Gensoli.
She said in November and December last year, they held a special immunization, or a house-to-house, to immunize the children less than five years old.
In 2017, CHO also launched the school-based expanded program on immunization for Grades 1 and 7 in the public schools in Bacolod.
Doctor Rosalie Deocampo, officer-in-charge of National Immunization Program of CHO, earlier said the school-based immunization will cover the children with vaccines that could prevent them from illnesses such as measles, German measles, diphtheria,
Grade 1 pupils are vaccinated with measles containing vaccine and tetanus diphtheria (TD) while Grade 7 students received measles rubella and TD vaccines which are highly recommended by the DOH.
“We realized that the immunization given to less than one-year-old child weaned off so we need to boost them up during the school entrance which coincides from age four to six for Grade 1, and 10 to 12 years old for Grade 7,” Deocampo said.
Tan said that after the school-based immunization program, they tried to trace those children who failed to avail the vaccine so they will be immunized.
“We are now catching up to immunize our children to prevent the spread of the diseases,” she said.
From January to February 7 this year, Bacolod has a total of 41 suspected measles cases, CHO records showed.
Of the 61 barangays, 19 barangays were recorded with suspected measles cases.
In 2018, Bacolod has 75 confirmed measles cases and 263 suspected measles cases.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease and is transmitted from person-to-person by sneezing, coughing, and close personal contact.
Tan said this year, they still need to immunize about 6,000 children who were not immunized in 2018.
CHO reiterated their appeal to parents to have their children vaccinated for protection against measles.
Tan disclosed that the vaccines that are being used in a routine immunization has been used for several decades and it is proven that it controlled the increase, spread, and even death outcome of the vaccines preventable diseases./ MAP