95% TARGET CHO to improve 36% immunization

The Davao City Health Office (CHO) is set to launch an extensive campaign for the immunization of students of public schools under the Department of Education (DepEd).

CHO head Dr. Julinda Acosta on Thursday lamented that the CHO does not have enough manpower for a full-blown campaign to immunize all Grade 1 and Grade 7 students in Davao City.

Acosta said that her office targeted 35,522 public school students (combined Grade 1 and Grade 7 students). However, only 12,874 were vaccinated or a measly 36.24 percent.

“We cannot simultaneously work on with the school and community immunization. But still, part of our micro plan is that we are still going back to the school,” she said during the iSpeak press conference at the City Hall of Davao.

“That is why we are asking help to all DepEd officials, school principals, nurses, and students to help the district health officers in campaigning for the immunization of all students,” Acosta added.

The city health officer said that that they are targeting a 95-percent immunization coverage to all children in Davao City. In 2017, CHO recorded a 86.6-percent coverage.

Acosta likewise clarified that there is no measles outbreak in Davao City.

In a recent article, Department of Health Davao (DOH 11) Center for Health Development (CHD) recorded a 75-percent reduction of measles cases in the city. 

From January 1 to February 10 of 2019, only a total 86 suspected measles cases were reported compared to the alarming 347 measles outbreak recorded in the same period of last year.

However, Acosta said that the city is not going to be complacent as the health office has recorded a one-year old child who died due to pneumonia. The child, who was found to have measles possibly transmitted from the father, was confined at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). The victim was not immunized because the parents feared the adverse effect of the vaccine. Details of the child’s death have yet to be validated by the office.

CHO is also confirming another case wherein a child from Matina Pangi also died from measles.

City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has stepped up the campaign for vaccination. Acosta said that the mayor’s participation hugely contributed in convincing the parents to have their children vaccinated as early as nine months to one year old.

“One midwife told us that since Mayor Sara spoke up, she noticed a huge influx of parents, having their kids vaccinated,” she said.