By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – The regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) has dispatched more vaccination teams to support local government units, city and provincial health offices, and has reported that 20, 351 children have already been vaccinated in various parts in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region.
Regional officials of the DOH 13 said Rapid Coverage Assessment Response Teams (RCARTs), under the agency’s Nurse Deployment Program (NDP), already assisted various local government units (LGUs) in the massive immunization drive.
The RCARTs were also closely coordinating with the barangay health workers in the five provinces and six cities in Northeastern Mindanao.
More than 200 NDPs were already deployed in the all-out and massive immunization drive in Caraga region.
Officials of the DOH 13 based here reiterated their previous appeal to the general public that the measles vaccine is very safe and very effective.
“I urge the parents to let their children be vaccinated,” said DOH 13 Regional Director Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, Jr.
As of March 6, 2019, the DOH 13 Center for Health Development (CHD) Caraga region has already recorded a total of 312 suspected measles cases admitted to the different hospitals in the various parts of the region, from January 1, 2019.
“The agency has intensified advocacy and mop-up vaccination in the entire Caraga region,” Director Llacuna pointed out.
The DOH 13 CHD Caraga has activated its Incident Command System ((ICS) to better and closely coordinate response with the LGUs involved.
Measles is a contagious disease caused by the measles virus. This virus can survive in the air for at most two hours, thus, it can be transmitted through the air, health officials here said, during the same press forum.
This disease affects people, especially children. Common signs of the disease include rashes, cough, fever, runny nose, and redness of the eyes. Vulnerable children are at high risk for complication, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, encephalitis (brain infection) and malnutrition and infections, and some infected children may develop eye complications that may lead to blindness, health authorities added.