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DOH-10 intensifies immunization vs measles, rubella, polio

by Jan Albert K. Araña

MISAMIS ORIENTAL (PIA)–The Department of Health (DOH)-10 aims to further increase the immunization status of children in Northern Mindanao with the conduct of a month-long immunization campaign against measles, rubella, and polio this May.

According to the health department, immunization coverage for children aged 0–59 months had lowered during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a pool of populations that are susceptible to measles infection. It was also noted that this year, an increase in suspected case of measles was recorded.

“Nakita namo nga adunay 18% increase sa suspected cases of measles sa rehiyon karon (We have seen that there is an 18% increase in suspected cases of measles in the region today),” DOH-10 Local Health Support Division Chief David Mendoza said.

Mendoza explained that in the same period last year, they only recorded 69 suspected measles cases compared to this year’s 82. There were also no laboratory-confirmed cases last year compared to this year’s three laboratory-confirmed cases: one for measles and two for rubella.

The DOH-10 hopes that the supplemental immunization activity they are conducting against measles, rubella, and polio can help beef up the immunization coverage of the region and prevent a possible outbreak of such vaccine-preventable diseases.

Mendoza added that to strengthen the immunization campaign, fixed sites, and house-to-house initiatives are done throughout the region to make sure that all eligible individuals will be vaccinated and no children will be left behind.

In the vaccination sites, regardless of the vaccination status, oral polio immunization is available for children aged 0–59 months, while measles-rubella immunization can be availed of by children aged 9–59 months.

As the government extends its efforts to protect the children, the health department admits that their efforts together with the various agencies and local government units are futile without the support and participation of the public, especially the parents and guardians, and that to combat the possible spread or outbreak of measles, rubella, and polio, it will take a whole-of-society approach.

DOH-10 urges parents and guardians to allow their children to get immunizations for added protection. Protecting children against any vaccine-preventable disease should be a priority for each parent and guardian. (JAKA/PIA-10)

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