Baguio City village execs urged to step up vaccine info drive

Baguio City village execs urged to step up vaccine info drive

BAGUIO CITY — Barangay officials have been asked to help in the massive information education (IEC) campaign about vaccination against measles and Japanese encephalitis (JE) in the city. 

“The support of all the barangay officials in informing their constituents of the diseases and for parents and guardians to bring their children for vaccination will ensure the success of the implementation of the program,” Vice Mayor Edison Bilog said in an interview on Tuesday.

Bilog authored a resolution that was passed by the city council, strongly urging all barangay officials in the city’s 128 barangays to help in the campaign as the city aimed to immunize over 33,000 children aged six to 59 months. 

On February 12, “Oplan Culex plus” was launched in the Cordillera Region, which is among the four regions in the country, together with Regions 1, 2 and 3, identified as pilot areas for JE vaccination. 

The community-based vaccination coincides with the massive immunization for anti-measles, which health workers of the Department of Health (DOH) all over the country would bring to households. The house-to-house visits would include immunization for oral polio and Vitamin A supplement for the same age group. 

Bilog said the help of barangay and purok leaders who know their area more would spell the difference in achieving the goal of reaching the target number of children to be vaccinated. Local government and health workers cannot be complacent and should work on lowering the number of measles cases, he added.

According to a report from the health department’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, there were 10 laboratory confirmed JE cases in the city from 2016 to 2018.

JE is a mosquito-borne viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected female Culex mosquito, 

Health experts had earlier warned the public that JE is a serious and disabling illness, which can be fatal for at least 30 percent of the people it infected if not immediately managed.

It is characterized by headache, fever, vomiting, muscle pains, abdominal pains, stiffness of the neck, pain in the eyes when looking at the light, disturbances in behaviour, and seizures or convulsions.

In Baguio City, there were 95 and 110 cases of measles in 2017 and 2018, respectively, while from January 1 to February 14, 2019, 94 suspected cases have already been recorded – 36 of which have already been confirmed. PNA –