As the Philippines starts its nationwide measles and polio campaign Monday, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund called the public to work together to ensure all children are immunized.
The UNICEF said it supports the Department of Health through vaccine procurement and delivery, development of immunization guidelines, social mobilization, and building the capacity of DoH and local government unit staff nationwide to plan and ensure that no child is missed.
“No child should suffer or die from a disease that can be prevented by a vaccine that is available for free,” UNICEF Philippines Health and Nutrition chief Malalay Ahmadzai said.
“For the upcoming campaign, please take your children to be immunized at vaccination points. Arm yourself with the right information so that your children can grow up healthy,” Ahmadzai added.
Polio is a deadly viral disease that was once the leading cause of paralysis among children worldwide and reemerged in the country in 2019, the UNICEF reported. To date, there are 17 confirmed cases of polio in the country, it added.
The nationwide Measles Rubella-Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity will be rolled out in two phases. Children ages nine- to 59-months-old will be given measles-rubella vaccine while those zero- to 59-months-old will be provided with oral polio vaccine.
Phase 1 of the campaign will be conducted from Oct. 26 to Nov. 25 in Mindanao, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, M imaropa region, and Bicol region. Phase 2 will be conducted in February in Visayas, National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.
The UNICEF assured the public that health workers are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and trained in infection prevention and control (IPC) to prevent COVID-19 infections to ensure safety of the health workers, parents, and children.