81% of Baguio’s children vaccinated against polio, measles-rubella

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The City Health Services Office (CHSO) was able to reach out and vaccinate eighty-one percent (81%) of the city’s children against Polio and Measles-Rubella from Oct. 25 to December 8.

Personnel of the HSO, Marie Joven reported that 28,891 children, representing 81.78% from the 35,327 targeted population, was administered the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) while 24, 470 (81.60%) from 29,989 targeted children were immunized Measles Rubela (MR) vaccine.

The MR-OPV-Supplementary immunization activities (SIA) was jointly done by officials and health personnel for children below five years of age, despite previous immunization records.

Health workers of Campo Filipino, Pinsao, Quezon and Quirino Hill, Lucban, Mines View, Atok Trail, Loakan, Asin, Scout Barrio, City Camp, Atab, Engineers Hill, Pacdal, Aurora Hill and Irisan districts worked hard for the immunization activities.

Fixed vaccination sites, district, barangay centers and other open sites were utilized, with some health workers employing a door-to-door campaign, searching for unvaccinated children in the barangays.

During the MR-OPV-SIA launching Oct 25 at the Baguio Convention Center, Mayor Benjamin Magalong, DOH officials, and HSO head Dr. Rowena Galpo, Council Chairman on Health, Sanitation and Environment committee Joel Alangsab called for support to the immunization activities. World Health Organization representatives joined in through virtual means.

Immunization is a right for every child’s health and well-being , the officials said.

Executive Order 140 (series of 2020) was also earlier issued by Mayor Magalong encouraging Baguio communities to support the immunization activity. The elimination, eradication and control of the childhood vaccine-preventable diseases require that a sizeable number of children below 59 months of age undergo annual immunization, the EO states.

Even after the country was declared poliovirus free in 2000, a polio outbreak occurred June 2019 in several areas, with detection of the virus in environmental and human samples in Metro Manila, Davao, BARMM, Region IV-A, Cebu and Region III.

A national response to avert poliovirus transmission thus was to conduct several rounds of mass OPV.

Measles-Rubella and Polio are childhood diseases which are vaccine-preventable but with complications, could be debilitating through damage to the nerves, or result into life-long paralysis, or death.

Symptoms for Polio are fever, fatigue, headache, stiff neck, joint pains, and difficulty in breathing.

Polio Virus could spread through ingestion of contaminated food and water and unhygienic practices.- Julie G. Fianza with reports from the CHSO

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