PHO to tap DepEd in health surveillance of Dengvaxia recipients
The Cebu Provincial Health Office (PHO) has invited the Department of Education-Cebu Province (DepEd-Cebu) to assist them in implementing a public health surveillance on the effects of the Dengvaxia vaccine which was given to children.
This was agreed on during yesterday’s emergency meeting among provincial health officers four days after the Department of Health (DOH) in Manila announced the suspension of the distribution of dengue vaccination which cost P3.5 billion.
The distribution of the vaccines did not involve the PHO; rather, the DOH went directly to the regional health units. PHO chief Dr. Rene Catan however said they will monitor the children who were given the vaccine.
Before any implementation will be done, Catan said they must formulate policies and protocols to guide them on how to go about the health surveillance of children given the Dengvaxia in Cebu.
Data from DOH in Central Visayas showed that over 150,000 children in the province were given the controversial dengue vaccine, which also happened to be the first one of its kind.
Due to the sheer number of children in Cebu province who received the shots, Catan said they needed the help from DepEd-Cebu Province.
“During our meeting, it was made clear that we have to include DepEd in this. We will ask assistance from Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud (Cebu Provincial Schools Division superintendent) to craft the protocols … considering that most of these children are within the ages of nine to fifteen and most likely in schools,” he explained.
DepEd will also be tapped for the information drive to raise awareness of dengue and how to prevent it.
Catan said the surveillance system will be implemented not only in schools but also in the barangay level. Monitoring, he said would probably go on for 10 years.
“In fact, the surveillance will extend up to 10 years, until these children will reach adulthood. Because when they get hospitalized, for whatever reason, we have to keep data and report it. The data will serve as our future reference,” he stated.
He also said there was no centralized archiving system for data coming from the hospitals in the province.
“Our health system here is fragmented which means that one hospital keeps this and that. Buwag-buwag ba (separated). That’s why we have to keep track on the Dengvaxia situation here, and record them,” Catan said
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