MANILA — President Noynoy Aquino recently led the mass immunization campaign launch against measles, rubella, and polio.
During his speech at the head office of the Department of Health (DOH) in Manila, the President stressed the importance of vaccination. He said that almost 13 million Filipinos are at risk of contracting the said diseases.
He added complications may be prevented through vaccination. According to the President, the DOH targets to vaccinate 95 percent of Filipino children. This will be done by reaching out to remote communities to ensure the success of the campaign.
“Parents and guardians should make sure that their kids get vaccinated to protect them against preventable illnesses… This is our obligation to our children,” said President Aquino.
Dubbed “Ligtas sa Tigdas at Polio Mass Immunization Campaign,” the project aims to vaccinate 11 million children aged nine months and below to protect them against measles and rubella. Aside from this, around 13 million newborns up to below five years old will also be given polio drops to continue the country’s polio-free status since 2000. The last recorded polio case was in 1993.
The campaign will run until the end of September. Vaccination will be in health centers, barangay health stations, local churches, and other designated vaccination areas. There will also be a door-to-door checking to ensure that there will be no missed children.
According to DOH Secretary Enrique Ona, it is a bigger problem for the parents if their children will get sick with measles. Treating a child with measles usually costs from P15,000 to P30,000. This figure does not include yet the effect of complications which include pneumonia, diarrhea, encephalitis, and blindness.
“I urge all mother and caregivers to bring children regard- less of their vaccination status, from newborns to below five years old, to the nearest health center to have them vaccinated against measles, rubella and polio. Magkaisa. Magpabakuna,” Ona said.
The Health Department spends P31 for measles and rubella vaccine and P8 for the oral polio vaccine.