Barangay officials tapped in anti-measles drive

THE CITY Health Office (CHO) has tapped barangay officials in its house-to-house drive to vaccinate children against measles.

Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, CHO chief, said they are orienting the city’s 182 barangay captains on the measles immunization.

To immediately address the ongoing transmission and control the occurrence of wider measles outbreak, Villafuerte said an Outbreak Response Immunization (ORI) is being conducted in the city.

The CHO is aiming to immunize 151,468 children, aged six months to 59 months, in the city.

According to Villafuerte, 68,000 children were already vaccinated as of Jan. 26.

In the regular routine immunization, two doses of Measles Containing Vaccine (MCV) are given to children.

The first dose is given at the age of nine months, and the second dose is given at the age of 12 months.

But in ORI, all children aged six to eight months should be given a dose of MCV and be recorded as zero dose. Then the first dose must be given at nine months old or at least one-month interval from the last dose, then the second dose should be given at 12 months old.

Based on its data, the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) of DOH Regional Office XI recorded a total of 317 suspected cases of measles from Jan. 1, 2017 to Jan. 19, 2018.

The data also showed that the RESU XI recorded 14 suspected measles-related deaths that are still under confirmation if the cause is directly related to the complications of measles or coincidental. Thirteen of these deaths were from Davao City and one from Davao del Norte.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease as it is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Measles virus causes rashes, coughs, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever. It can lead to pneumonia, blindness, and death.

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