Last May 9, 2018 the Department of Health – Center for Health Development XII officially launched the “Ligtas Tigdas” Measles-Rubella Supplemental Immunization Activity(MR SIA)for Mindanao. This is a strategy to curb the spread of measles through the administration of free vaccination among infants and children 6-59 months
The launching was held at Family Country Hotel, General Santos City. It was attended by more than 300 participants both health partners and stakeholders. No less than Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III,MD,MSc and his party, were present in this momentous activity.
The welcome address was delivered by Hon. Rosalita Nuñez -City Councilor and Chairperson on Committee on Health of General Santos City in behalf of City Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera. Hon. Nuñez took also the opportunity to thank the DOH for all the support it has given the City of General Santos from the technical assistance on health programs to the augmentation of Human Resource for Health and HFEP projects.
Assistant Secretary for Mindanao and Visayas, Abdullah B.Dumama Jr., MD,MPA, CESO III introduced the keynote speaker --Department of Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III. He initially narrates the different public health interventions and accomplishments of DOH in its various health goals.
Sec. Duque urges the active cooperation of the parents and guardians for the MR SIA by voluntarily submitting their child/children 6mos to 59 mos to health workers in their community to have their shot of measles vaccine.
Based on the department’s data, in Region XII there were 767 suspected measles cases and out of that there were 110 confirmed cases, with 9 deaths. The 9 reported deaths were found to be unvaccinated.
Data from the Epidemiology Bureau (EB) showed that there were 6,497 measles cases reported nationwide. Out of the 6,497 reported cases, 1,043 were confirmed measles with a total of 16 deaths.
According to Sec. Duque, to address the upsurge of measles transmission, a National Measles Supplemental Immunization Activity (SIA) will be conducted.The success of this activity will benefit the children and community by creating a herd immunity which may prevent further transmission of highly infectious measles disease. He also added that the entire immunization program of the DOH is greatly affected by the controversy brought by Dengvaxia vaccine which caused panic among parents due to the reported severe adverse reaction on the vaccinated children.
Health workers are instructed to convince the parents to bring their children for measles immunization. He assured that the measles vaccines that will be given during the MR SIA were already used decades ago and were proven for their efficacy.
He ended his speech with this appeal “Let’s bring back the glorious days of DOH”.
After the participants signed on the wall of commitment, a ceremonial vaccination was done. Ten (10) children ages from 6mos-59mos were gathered to be vaccinated by no less than Sec. Duque, ASec. Dumama, Asst.Reg’l Dir. Francisco Mateo and selected PHOs and MHOs.