DOH urges public to get free measles vaccine

Despite the lower cases of measles in Central Visayas, health officials urged the public to avail of the free life-long rubella measles immunization.

This is in response to the measles outbreak in Metro Manila as declared by the Department of Health (DOH) early this year.

In 2013, the province only recorded one confirmed case of measles. But this January, there were already 61 suspected cases of measles in the entire region as recorded by DOH 7.

Twenty-eight of these cases are in the cities of Cebu (10), Lapu-lapu (eight), Mandaue (three) and Talisay (three), and Balamban (two) and Daanbantayan (two). However, these cases are yet to be confirmed.

Provincial Health Office (PHO) Chief Cynthia Genosolango urged the public to voluntarily bring their children to the rural health units for free vaccination instead of waiting for them in their respective places.

With the numerous suspected cases from January 1 to 18 alone, the government will now immunize children as young as 6-months old, according to Ma. Socorro Entera, chief of maternal and child health section, DOH 7.

A second dose, which is necessary to completely immunize the child, will follow in the next few months. The province also recently conducted in school adolescent measles immunization.

DOH 7 did not reach its targeted immunization rate of 95 percent. However, compared to the 40 percent immunization rate in Metro Manila, Central Visayas, in general, has a higher rate of 82 percent; 93 percent in Cebu City and 87 percent in Cebu Province.

The government’s goal is to completely eliminate the disease by the year 2017.

Emma Quiñones, Nurse IV of the PHO said it helps that the immunization rate in the Visayas is higher.

“Kung low ang coverage dakogyudang possibility ngaadunay outbreak,” said Quiñones.

Measles is a quick spreading airborne disease transmitted through contact with the liquid from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person or by breathing the virus circulating in the air. Xerxes Alkuino