CHO in­ten­si­fies measles sur­veil­lance drive

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page -

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,

and tetanus.

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

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