DOH XI partners with LGU to address measles outbreak

THE DEPARTMENT of Health XI deployed 35 teams beginning Saturday to augment the local government’s efforts to provide outbreak response immunization to thousands of children at risk of measles.

The teams of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals aim to augment the barangay personnel tasked to make sure children around the city would be protected from measles. The immunization program will last until Feb. 7.
Dr. Raquel Montejo, medical officer-in-charge of maternal and child nutrition and health at the DOH, said in January alone, the numbers were already around a quarter of the total number of suspected cases in 2017.
Montejo was one of the guests at Friday’s Connect Science + Health and Wellness forum at the Food Hall of SM Lanang Premier.
The regional data said that around 90% of measles cases found in the region are from Davao City.
One case of measles is already considered an outbreak, according to Montejo, citing DOH guidelines.
Regional data so far place three deaths suspected to measles.
To date, only one case has been confirmed to be associated with measles, with tests taking around one to two weeks for confirmation.
The outbreak began in November last year, according to the data of the Regional Epidemiological Survey Unit (RESU) of the DOH, which tallies the number of cases reported in barangays and private hospitals throughout the region.
RESU data said there were around 50 cases being tested for measles in the region, with one case reported in Compostela Valley and two cases reported in Davao Oriental. The DOH is still validating the reports.
The city is targeting to vaccinate 198,751 children aged six months to 59 months. There were around 55,000 children vaccinated from November to last week.
While the outbreak response immunization is still ongoing, health agencies here are hoping to cover 95% of children from the deadly infection.
Various agencies met last Thursday to deploy more manpower to the city to augment manpower, Montejo said. Most of the cases are recorded in the Poblacion. The DOH is also validating 28 suspected cases in Buhangin, 26 in Talomo North, 23 in Talomo Central, 22 in Agdao, 15 each in Sasa and Talomo south.

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