Province extends measles vaccine campaign
The Cebu Provincial Health Office (CPHO) is extending its map-up immunization campaign against measles for two more weeks due to low turnout of children who have been vaccinated.
“Maybe it’s because on the issues of the vaccines that were given in the past, that’s why parents are now afraid,” said Maria Lorraine Gimperoso, Child Care nurse coordinator of CPHO.
She said that based on their experience, although some parents refused to have their child immunized, they later changed their mind after the health workers explained to them the purpose of the vaccine.
Gimperoso said that based on their partial monitoring, only 20 percent of the targeted population of children were immunized since the map-up immunization started on October 23, 2018.
“Out of 327,121 targeted population, partially we’ve only recorded around 65,424 children who received the vaccine,” she added.
During the map-up immunization, Gimperoso said parents are encouraged to bring their children to the health centers for their scheduled immunization.
Those who fail to go to the health centers will be visited by the CPHO at their house.
All children ages 6 to 59 months are required to undergo measles vaccination due to rise of measles cases this year.
“As much as possible, we are targeting 100 percent coverage. But due to constraint of time, we are hoping to achieve the 50 to 60 percent coverage,” he added.
Gimperoso also reiterated that the vaccine is safe and has been proven effective and that parents should not be afraid.
Measles disease is manifested through fever, rashes, runny nose, and red eyes, among others.
The extension of the map-up immunization will last until the second week of December.
Based on the monitoring of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) from January to December 1, 2018, Central Visayas has already recorded 351 cases of measles, with two deaths.
This is 562 percent higher compared to the same period last year with 53 cases.
In Cebu province, 94 cases of measles have already been reported, wherein Cebu City got the highest cases with 28, followed by Lapu-Lapu City with 11 cases, Mandaue City with nine cases and the towns of Cordova and Badian with seven cases each.
In the whole region, Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental has recorded the highest number of measles cases with 47.
Last March, seven LGUs in Negros Oriental were put under measles outbreak, which was followed by the province of Siquijor.
A catch-up vaccination was then implemented in the month of April and May in those areas.
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