MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) is studying the proposal of the Department of Health (DOH) to implement a “no vaccination, no enrollment” policy in public schools in response to the rising number of measles cases nationwide.
In a statement late Friday, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones emphasized that the proposed policy must take into consideration the human rights of learners, especially their access to quality basic education.
“While DepEd is looking into different ways to regain the confidence of parents in immunization, the agency has made commitments with DOH in ensuring that the learners are protected,” Briones said.
DepEd’s commitment to DOH include the development of consent form and evaluation form, which will categorize learners as “vaccinated,” “doubtful,” and “not vaccinated”; verification of school records and vaccination cards; gathering and sharing of data on the number of learners affected with measles; coordination with health center staff on learners, who are absent and whose parents did not give consent during vaccination; and follow-up on learners, who did not receive vaccination and those who opted to be vaccinated by private practitioner.
The department said it will look for ways to strengthen the goals of Executive Order No. 663, series 2007 or Implementing the National Commitment for “Bakuna ang Una sa Sanggol at Ina”.
The order aims to eliminate measles, neonatal Tetanus and polio; and control Hepatitis B and other vaccine-preventable diseases based on World Health Organization guidelines.
Briones said DepEd will review and explore the strengthening of Executive Order No. 82, series 2012 or Operationalizing the Practical Guide for National Crisis Managers and the National Crisis Management Core Manual; Establishing National and Local Crisis Management Organizations; and Providing Funds Therefore.
“Learners, parents, teaching and non-academic personnel, and stakeholders may rest assured that the Department is working closely with DOH in monitoring measles cases and in strengthening efforts to combat the disease,” she added.Ma. Teresa Montemayor/PNA-northboundasia.com