DOH-7 urges parents: Protect your children against measles, rubella, polio
CEBU CITY, Philippines — An official of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) has appealed to parents to have their children vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases such as poliomyelitis, measles, and rubella.
DOH-7 Director Jaime Bernadas issued this appeal, in a press conference on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, as he admitted that the measles-rubella and oral poliomyelitis vaccination in the region and in the national level took a setback in the past few years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ang existing nato nga fully-immunized child for the region, naa ra ta sa 42 percent. Ang atong target is 90 percent. Dako kaayo ang atong i-catch up,” Bernadas said.
(Our existing fully-immunized child for the region, we are at 42 percent. Our target is 90 percent. We have a lot of catching up to do.)
“Busa kita nagmugna ta aning catch up immunization tungod kay ang national data sa fully immunized child, mubo sad kaayo. Aron [sad] malikayan nato nga magepidemic sa measles nga daku kaayo nga problema kay mao unya’y makapuno sa atong tambalanan,” he added.
(So we will do our catching up of immunization because our national data of fully immunized child are really low. So that we can avoid an epidemic of measles which is a very big problem because this might fill up our hospitals.)
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines measles as a highly contagious viral disease. WHO said “it remains an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.”
Rubella, on the other hand, is a contagious viral infection that occurs most often in children and young adults.
The DOH 7 launched on May 1 its month-long free catch-up immunization drive dubbed “Chikiting Ligtas.”
DOH 7 targets to immunize a total of 309,245 children ages zero to 59 months with Bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) that protects against poliovirus types 1 and 3.
The department also aims to vaccinate 689,059 children ages nine to 59 months with vaccine against measles and rubella.
Bernadas said the DOH is also doing supplementation of Vitamin A along with the catch-up vaccination.
“Atong giawhag ang mga parents ug guardians nga atong dal-on ngadto sa mga tambalanan and RHU (rural health unit) kay didto, ato pa na silang hatagan sa mga bakuna nga naa karon diha sa ilang mga lugar. Ato sad giawhag ang mga health workers nga pangitaon gyod ang mga kabataan aron mahatagan sa maong mga bakuna,” he said.
(We are are encouraging our parents and guardians to bring (their children) to the hospitals and rhu (rural health unit) because there, we can give them vaccines that is already there in their areas. We are also appealing to health workers that they will look for the children so that they can give them the vaccine.)
“Kinahanglan ato kining magamit kay kung dili nato kini magamit ang bakuna, sayang ang gigasto sa gobyerno nga angay nato untang mahatag sa atong mga kabataan,” he added.
(We should use these vaccines because if we cannot use these, the money spent by the government that should have been given to the children will be wasted.)
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