Zero measles case among children reported in 66 percent of E. Visayas’ towns

from Government of the Philippines
Published on 20 Apr 2019 View Original

By Leonilo D. Lopido

PALO, Leyte, Apr. 20 (PIA) -- Around 66 percent of municipalities in Eastern Visayas have no reported measles cases as of April 13 for the past 42 days for children from six to 59 months old, according to the recent report of the Department of Health-Regional Office 8 (DOH-8).

“Ninety-four out of 143 municipalities is a good number,” DOH-8 Regional Director Minerva Molon said in a press briefing here last April 15.

Measles transmission is said to be controlled in an area if there is no more case for the past 42 days from the last case reported.

The regional health office has noted better immunization response due to massive information dissemination reaching out to the barangays with the active support of parents on the government’s anti-measles campaign.

According to Ma. Elena Villarosa, DOH-8 immunization program manager, as of April 12, their office had already vaccinated 223,728 children aged six to 59 months old surpassing its target of 191,183 or an accomplishment of 117 percent.

“This is because of your (media) help and the wide dissemination of information,” Villarosa told the reporters, adding that all were alerted and responded the government's call for immunization where mothers voluntarily visit the health centers nearest to them for their children’s vaccination.

In addition, Villarosa said, DOH-8 was able to vaccinate 178,960 school-based children aged five to 12 years old and the number is expected to increase as more are voluntarily visiting the health centers for the vaccination.

DOH continues to coordinate with the Department of Education to cover more children of their immunization program.

“In the region, we were able to immunize, for the measles vaccination alone, a little more than half a million for the period February-March 31, 2019,” Villarosa added.

DOH-8 shared they were happy of the turnout of the immunization program, and the public's response compared to previous immunization activities.

Meanwhile, despite surpassing the target, DOH-8 officials continue to advice mothers and the public, especially those whose children remain unvaccinated, to bring them to the nearest health center as they still receive reports of measles cases, though on a decreasing trend, through their weekly monitoring.

Roderick Boyd Cerro, chief of the regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, reported a total of 1,546 measles cases with 31 deaths from January to April 13 this year, wherein deaths were noted in adults, not anymore in children five years old and below, due to the increase in the outbreak response immunization coverage.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus and can be transferred from person-to-person by sneezing, coughing and close personal contact.

Its signs and symptoms include cough, runny nose, red eyes, fever, and skin rashes lasting for more than three days. (LDL/PIA-8, Leyte)