By: Joey Sem G. Dalumpines
DAVAO CITY, Feb. 11 (PIA) –Mayor Sara Duterte has urged families in Davao Region to allow the immunization of their children particularly those ages nine months to one-year-old.
She said it is a must to support the campaign of the Department of Health (DOH) on the immunization of children.
Duterte urged the parents to have their children immunized which is regularly administered like the vaccine against measles.
“Children need to be immunized at nine-months old and one-year old,” she said.
Duterte said there is no outbreak of measles this year in the city which is apart from the outbreak experienced in 2018.
She assured that the measles monitoring goes on with lesser result.
“We have it under control. This is the effect of the immunizations last 2018. We ensure that this year, there will no outbreak in Davao City again,” Duterte said.
The DOH Davao Region Center for Health Development (CHD) has recorded a total of 86 suspected measles cases from January 1 to February 10, this year.
Dr. Anabelle Yumang, director of DOH XI said the measles cases in Davao Region is not on the outbreak threshold.
She said that compared to the same period in 2018, there is a reduction of cases by 75 percent.
“The figure is lower by 75 percent compared to the same period last year when a spike of measles cases occurred on the first quarter of 2018 prompting the agency to conduct Outbreak Response Immunization,” Yumang said.
She said that from Jan. 1 to Feb. 10, Davao City had a total of 53 cases compared to the same period in 2018 where measles rose to 89 cases.
Even then, Davao City has the most number of Measles cases in 2019 compared to other places in the Region.
The data from the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit revealed that Davao City has the most measles cases at 53, followed by 20 cases in Davao del Sur, 7 cases in Compostela Valley, 5 cases in Davao del Norte and one case in Davao Oriental. There is also reported case in Davao Occidental.
The data also showed the mortality of two persons due to complications like pneumonia in Bunawan, Davao City and Pantukan, Compostela Valley.
Yumang said that despite of this situation, people must not be complacent and instead, parents and guardians must be informed of bringing their children for immunization.
“We must not be complacent to the number of cases. DOH wants to stop to the transmission of measles right now,” she said.
Yumang also said the non-compliance to the call for government’s immunization cannot be attributed to the Dengvaxia scare since Davao Region was never a pilot area for Dengvaxia immunization.
She said no one came and conveyed to the DOH citing Dengvaxia vaccination as the reason for not allowing their children to be vaccinated.
“Many parents and guardians tend to forget or (they are) busy with something else than bringing their children to the health center for immunization. We really need to widen the DOH coverage for immunization,” Yumang said.
She said measles is highly contagious and can cause fatal complications especially among infants and young children with malnutrition and weak immune system.