DOH ASSURES ENOUGH MEASLES VACCINE FOR CENTRAL VISAYAS
INFORMATION DRIVE. Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino (sixth from left, standing in white shirt) and Department of Health (DOH) 7 (Central Visayas) Regional Director Jaime Bernadas (fifth from left, in blue shirt) join health workers, representatives from the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD-7) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG-7), mothers and children in an information campaign on anti-measles vaccination at the roof top of Barangay Duljo-Fatima Multi-Purpose Hall, Cebu City, Feb. 18, 2019. (Photo by John Rey Saavedra)
CEBU CITY — The top official of the Department of Health (DOH) in Region 7 (Central Visayas) assured that the agency has enough supply of measles and rubella vaccines to cover the need of the entire region.
DOH-7 launched on Monday an intensified “sitio level” information drive as reinforcement to President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign that came out on national television last week.
DOH-7 Regional Director Jaime Bernadas said the department is ready to immunize children aged five to 69 months, noting that their target is 100-percent measles and rubella immunization in the region by the end of the first quarter of this year.
“In Central Visayas, the record (of children with measles) is alarming because aside from Cebu, we have already identified cases in Bohol and Siquijor,” said Bernadas at the sidelines of the launching of an information drive in the multi-purpose hall of Barangay Duljo-Fatima in this city.
The event was spearheaded by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, in response to the President’s effort for active information dissemination.
During the event, barangay residents, mostly mothers, brought with them their children who were scheduled for immunization on Monday afternoon. Health workers in the barangay assisted the personnel from DOH in examining the children before administering the vaccines.
Bernadas informed the residents that children who fail to get vaccinated against measles and rubella are more likely to get infected with lung diseases such as broncho-pneumonia and brain infections, such as encephalitis.
“Ang kaso sa measles mahimong makapa-cause of alarm of potential epidemic kay ang virus is very virulent ug kusog motakod ug daling makuha sa mga bata nga nag-edad (The measles cases can cause an alarm of potential epidemic because it is very virulent and can quickly infect children with ages) six to nine months,” he said.
Bernadas said government hospitals and health centers in the region are open from Mondays through Sundays for parents who would bring their children in for immunization.
For his part, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino urged the mothers present to listen to President Duterte’s plea to have their children immunized against measles.
“Wa pay namatay nga bata tungod ani nga bakuna. Ayaw mo’g kahadlok nga magpabakuna kay lahi ni nga bakuna (No child died because of this vaccine. Don’t be afraid to have your child vaccinated because this is a different vaccine),” he told the parents, referring to the controversial anti-dengue vaccine.
Dino also urged the parents to avail of President Duterte’s health-care program through the Malasakit Center, where they can process medical assistance in one office.