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DOH-Region 12: Over 800k children to receive measles-rubella vaccination

March 29, 2011 5:50pm

The Department of Health (DOH) in Region 12 said a total of 816,679 children are expected to take part in a measles-rubella vaccination program in Region 12.

The DOH is urging mothers of qualified children to welcome vaccination teams into their homes as the health department begins its door-to-door program.

The DOH will conduct a nationwide immunization program against measles and German measles beginning April 4 until May 4, immunizing eligible children aged nine months to eight years old.

Among the provinces in Region 12, South Cotabato has recorded over 1,000 cases of measles in the first two months of 2011.

DOH Region 12 Director Abdulla Dumama said the regional health office will strictly implement the door-to-door strategy for the campaign to ensure that every child will be given the measles-rubella booster dose.

The mothers will have to wait in their homes for the vaccines to make sure that every child receives the booster dose.

"Children who will be brought to health centers to avail the vaccine will not be accommodated, since health workers will be moving around daily for a month for the vaccination campaign," Dumama said.

Parents are asked to coordinate with their respective health centers for the schedule to make sure the children are at home when the vaccination team arrives.

Dumama also asked homeowners to properly leash their dogs, as health workers have reportedly been bitten in previous vaccination programs.

Dumama encouraged local government units to support the health department's campaign.

"Our vaccination teams will need food and transportation during the immunization activity, and we just hope that our local officials can assist us on these things," Dumama said.

The national health department said it will be aggressive in its measles vaccination campaign this year, as the number of confirmed measles cases has significantly increased in the last three years, from 453 cases in 2007 to 1,418 cases in 2010.

More than 70 percent of these cases were among children who had not been vaccinated against the illness.

DOH said it will only spend P67 per child for the measles-rubella vaccine, much cheaper than the cost of treating a child with measles, which can be as much as P15,000. — with Candice Montenegro, Kathleen Turnos, VVP, GMA News