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IPHO-North Cotabato starts anti-measles, anti-polio mass immunization

HEALTH • 01:06 AM Fri Sep 5, 2014
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Photo courtesyand UNDP

MATALAM, North
Cotabato (Sept. 4/NDBC) – Health workers in North Cotabato’s 17 municipalities
and one city have started mass immunization of children aged 0-59 months old as
the province participated in the nationwide campaign to contain meales and
polio, health officials said.

The month-long
Measles Rubella Oral Polio Vaccine (MR-OPV) mass immunization was launched here
Tuesday, according to a statement released by the provincial government.

Nedaiza Niñal,
DOH Regional Expanded Program on Immunization Coordinator, led the launching
with officials from the North Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office
(IPHO).

She told
health providers that underlying basis of the campaign which was to bring
measles in the country down to very low levels, move towards measles
elimination and reduce rubella and eventually support efforts of keeping the
Philippines a polio-free country.

Dr. Eva C.
Rabaya, IPHO-Cotabato chief, said her office is aiming to immunized at least 95
percent of the total number of children in the province. Last year, IPHO immunized only about 92
percent.

The DOH aims
to immunize all children 0-59 years old in the country this year as ultimate
goal.

Niñal admitted
that despite massive campaign, measles and polio cases still occur among the
country’s 100 million population.

We have
already set good records in the past by having successful vaccination campaigns
here in Region 12. But the challenge remains for us to completely conduct these
immunizations to an even larger percentage or number of children not only here
but in the whole country,” Niñal said.

Around 150
babies from Matalam were given oral vaccine during the launching with no less
than Matalam Mayor Oscar M. Valdevieso performing the ceremonial immunization
along other local officials.

The DOH
disclosed that since the last mass immunization nationwide campaign in 2011, it
noted a significant reduction in measles and rubella cases that year and the
following year.

But in 2013,
the health department has monitored some significant outbreaks of measles in
some parts of the country and it continued up to 2014.

This is why
the need to have another massive campaign to address the problem is highly
necessary, the DOH said.

Helping health
officials in the province are the barangay health workers and volunteers in the
campaign. (NDBC)

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