DAVAO HEALTH OFFICE SEEKS DEPED HELP IN VACCINATION DRIVE
Dr. Julinda Acosta of the Davao City Health Office says they need the help of the Department of Education to convince parents to have their children vaccinated at schools. (PNA photo by Lilian C Mellejor)
DAVAO CITY – Having recorded low measles immunization coverage during last year’s measles outbreak, the City Health Office (CHO) has sought the help of the Department of Education (DepEd) and village officials in getting parental consent to vaccinate children.
This came as another child from Matina Pangi died of complication from measles disease, according to the CHO. If confirmed, the case will bring the measles death toll to two in this city following the death of another child last month for measles complication.
Dr. Julinda Acosta, chief of CHO Technical Division, said Thursday that both measles cases have yet to be subjected for confirmatory procedure.
Based on initial information, Acosta said one of the children was not immunized during last year’s vaccination drive because the parents refused consent for fear of the effects of the vaccine.
Apparently, Acosta said the child could have contracted the measles from his father.
Measles is a contagious disease that can be contracted by infants and can cause fatal complications, especially among infants and young children with malnutrition and weak immune system.
As this developed, Acosta said CHO will again mobilize its personnel to do another round of the school-based immunization to prevent the recurrence of the measles outbreak in the city.
Acosta, however, said they need the support of DepEd and the barangay officials to convice parents to allow the immunization of their children.
She noted that during last year’s outbreak, the CHO only managed to cover 39.3 percent of the 35,522 of schoolchildren from Grades 1 to 7.
Some parents, Acosta said, did not even return the consent letter to the teachers. Others plainly turned down the immunization drive.
DepEd-11 Director Alberto Escobarte has assured the agency’s support for the immunization drive.
“We are supportive of the thrust. We are waiting for instruction from the secretary (DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones,)” Escobarte said.