City to review measles vaccination target

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BAGUIO CITY  – The City Health Services office will be reviewing its projected target of 34,000 children aged 6 to 59 months old who are supposed to have been vaccinated against measles.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo explained that based on the current trend, health personnel will only be able to vaccinate at least 60 percent of its projected target of children that are supposed to undergo the vaccination to ascertain whether or not they have over targeted among other factors.

She disclosed that for the first three months of this year, the city health office was able to record some 218 measles cases in the city compared to only 4 measles cases during the same period last year that is why the increase nearly reached the epidemic level.

However, Galpo admitted that there has been a significant decline in measles cases in the city over the last two weeks of this month that is why health authorities are confident that the situation has stabilized although there is still a need to look for the children which did not yet get their dosage of measles vaccine or those who were not able to take their second dosage.

“We will review our vaccination target to see whether or not we over targeted the number of children that we were supposed to vaccinate up to the end of March. We actually mobilized all of our health teams to achieve the targeted number of children that will be vaccinated had that we were only able to vaccinate 40 percent of the total number of children up to the middle of this month and we will only be able to achieve some 60 percent of our target by the end of this month,” Galpo stressed.

Earlier, the regional office of the health department targeted a total of 175,000 children aged 0 to 59 months old who should be vaccinated against measles and Japanese encephalitis considering the alarming increase in the number of measles and Japanese encephalitis cases in the different parts of the country over the past several months.

The city health officer urged parents with children aged 6 to 59 months old who were not yet vaccinated to immediately visit the nearest health facility in their barangays to have their children vaccinated against measles and polio as well as Vitamin A.

She underscored the fat that it is important for parents to have their children vaccinated from the emerging dreaded diseases because once children will contract the same, it will be life charging on their part as the state of their brain will be affected.

Baguio city has some 16 district health centers that cater to the health needs of people living in the city’s 128 barangays year-round aside from the presence of a good number of government and private medical institutions that also cater to patients coming from inside and outside the city.

Galpo emphasized that the local health office will assess and evaluate its recent accomplishment in the implementation of the massive measles vaccination for them to pinpoint the gaps on why health authorities were not able to achieve the targeted number of children to be vaccinated and to look on how to effectively and efficiently address the said gaps to prevent some children from missing the vaccination which could take its toll their health condition.

By Dexter A. See

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