Doctors and health officials from the City Health Office and the Department of Health (DOH) urge parents of public school children to support the government’s school-based immunization program to protect their children from measles.

Jocelyn Rillorta, Nurse V of the DOH in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), said on Monday that vaccinations keep children safe by eliminating diseases that spread from child to child.

To prevent a repeat of last year’s measles outbreak, the DOH and the Department of Education signed a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1, series 2019 on March 22, 2019 making it mandatory for all learners from kindergarten to Grade 6 to be given a second dose of measles vaccine.

The move aims to prevent a possible outbreak that was experienced in the country this year. The circular order takes effect this school year until September 2019.

Latest report from the DOH-CAR show that from May 16 – June 27, 2019, there was zero incidence of measles in two Cordillera provinces, namely Abra and Mountain Province.

Baguio recorded a 7 percent prevalence rate, where the cases were recorded in 119 barangays out of the 128; Ifugao with 10%; Kalinga with 25%; Apayao 43% and Benguet 54%.

Dr. Donnabel Tubera of the Baguio City Health Services Office said the immunization campaign should be made mandatory and continuous for the protection of children.

“Sabi nga nung mayor namin we can do things in a better way o kaya sa (as our mayor said we can do things in a better way or if not, maybe the ) Regional Development Council can come up with a resolution to push for this mandatory immunization at least for this school[year],” Tubera said.

“In a form of policy like in other countries, they already mandate all Grade 1, all incoming school children to have a complete immunization so bago mag-Grade 1 para hindi tayo nagka-campaign (In a form of policy like other countries already mandate all Grade 1 all incoming school children to have a complete immunization before turning to Grade 1 so we do not campaign for it)” she said. (PNA)