Davao City to roll out measles immunization drive starting Oct. 25
Robie de Guzman • September 29, 2020 • 163
The government of Davao City on Tuesday said it is planning to conduct a city-wide measles immunization drive from Oct. 25 to November 26.
In a statement, the city government called on parents to have their children age nine to 59 months immunized against measles during the said dates.
According to Dr. Julinda Acosta, head of the City Health Office (CHO) Technical Division, the city-wide immunization activity this year will be held in fixed posts like barangay health centers, health stations, nutrition posts, as well as temporary posts such as covered courts, instead of the previous house-to-house strategy.
“This is so ma-ensure talaga natin ang proper screening and precautionary safety protocols. The measles vaccination kasi is injection, hindi patak. Dapat maganda yung area sa immunization sites,” Acosta said.
(This is to ensure the proper screening and precautionary safety protocols. The measles vaccination is administered through injection, not drops. There must be proper immunization sites.)
A virtual orientation will also be conducted with 182 barangay captains all over the city to disseminate the information.
Measles is a disease that comes from the rubeola virus and commonly affects children aged 6 months up to 12 years old. Its symptoms include high fever, cough and colds, swollen eyes, and red rashes all over the body.
The city government said it targets to vaccinate at least 150,000 children regardless of immunization status to make sure that there is no child left behind.
The CHO noted that this year, the city recorded lower measles cases with 133 and two deaths compared to the 835 cases and 13 deaths reported in the previous year.
Acosta attributed this to community quarantine protocols which prohibit children from going out amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She, however, pointed out that the public health crisis has also created a pool of unvaccinated children due to the movement restrictions and that there is no room for complacency.
“These children are susceptible to the disease and they need to be vaccinated in order to prevent a possible outbreak,” she said.
Acosta expressed hope that parents would have their children immunized as measles is a deadly disease but can be prevented through a vaccine.
“We encourage parents. Paano ngayon na nasa Covid situation tayo and what if naa na pud mag outbreak na mga preventable diseases. So sana maprotektahan nato ang mga bata,” she said.
(Now that we are in this COVID situation, what if there would be an outbreak of preventable diseases. So we hope that we can protect the children.)
Acosta assured that the vaccines for measles are safe to use.
Some P2.4-million worth of illegal drugs were seized by authorities at the Sirawan checkpoint in Toril, the Davao City government said.
In a news release, the city government said the dangerous drugs were confiscated by membes of the Task Force Davao on Monday from a vehicle traveling from Cotabato City.
Task Force Davao Commander Col. Consolito Yecla said one of the two suspects aboard the vehicle was also arrested. He was identified as Ronnie Martinez Jr., a resident of Koronadal City, South Cotabato.
“The suspect was checked at the light vehicle inspection area and requested to open his small sling bag. The duty inspector requested the driver to park at the side, but he drove away from the checkpoint leaving behind his small sling bag at the inspection area,” he said.
Martinez yielded three jumbo size heat-sealed, transparent plastic sachets of suspected shabu with an estimated weight of 150.43 grams valued at P2,406,880.
According to Yecla, the suspects drove away when asked to get off from the vehicle for inspection. The vehicle was later found abandoned in front of Gaisano Grand Mall in Toril.
One of the suspects reportedly rode a tricycle while the other ran towards Barangay Marapangi, he said.
One of them was later caught with the help of some residents who found him drenched after crossing a river. The other suspect appeared to have gotten away but left behind his wallet, which was turned over by the tricycle driver who gave him a ride.
Yecla expressed gratitude to those who helped in the apprehension of the suspect.
“We would like to give thanks and attribute this successful apprehension of the suspect to the tanods and residents of Brgy Marapangi. Indeed, they participated in our anti-terror campaign “May Nakita? Dapat Magsalita,” Yecla said, referring to the city’s public campaign against terrorism.
“We accomplished this without a fatality, and zero human rights violation,” he added.
The Davao City government has announced it will re-impose curfew hours amid the continuing threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In an advisory, the city government said curfew hours from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. will be re-implemented starting Oct. 15 until Dec. 31, 2020 as part of its efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said the measure is based on interviews with patients infected with COVID-19.
“Base ni siya sa mga interviews sa confirmed COVID-19 patients, nakita nato ang mga lihok and we deemed it na kinahanglan na iregulate ang mga activities nga ginabuhat sa mga tao nga dili essential,” she said on Monday’s broadcast of the Davao City Disaster Radio.
(This is based on interviews of confirmed COVID-19 patients. We have seen their movement and deemed it necessary to regulate the non-essential activities of the people.)
Mayor Sara noted that the surge in the number of coronavirus cases continued after the relaxation of movement restrictions under the current Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) and the lifting of the curfew hours in July.
She stressed the need to control the cases in the city because of the critical status of the number of beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients in the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).
Duterte also said the re-implementation of the curfew aims to pre-empt the possible increase of cases due to after-work non-essential activities ahead of the holiday season.
In an Executive Order No. 55 issued on Monday, Duterte said the following are exempted from the curfew hours:
All government workers who are on duty during curfew hours;
All private offices and establishments employees who time in and time out of work within the curfew hours, this shall mean to include their travel to and from their residence;
All medical doctors and veterinarians who need to work;
Workers of public utility companies (energy, water, internet, etc.) conducting construction, maintenance, or emergency activities
The following are also exempted from the curfew:
Subsistence and business fishing activities, their vessels are subject to lawful inspection by the Maritime Police, Task Force Davao, Navy or Coast Guard, if there is a reasonable belief that there is an illegal activity or unlawful materials in the vessel;
Individuals attending the wake of a family member;
All medical, emergency, and disaster cases.
Individuals who are inspected on the streets or stopped in checkpoints are required to present an employee’s ID of an establishment operating within the curfew hours.
Mayor Sara stressed that the curfew shall cover only individuals but offices, establishments, places of worship, and other institutions are encouraged to adjust their operating hours.
Duterte also tasked the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) to monitor and provide transportation augmentation for passengers who will be stranded during the curfew hours.
Buying liquors and other intoxicating drinks is also banned from 7 pm to 5 am every day. Drinking in public places such as roads, alleys, open spaces, and other similar places is prohibited every day at any given time.
Also, all videoke and karaoke sessions inside private property shall be prohibited from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.
All public venues and establishments that do not have a business permit to operate as a videoke, karaoke, or sing-along place are prohibited to operate their equipment 24 hours a day.
The city government warned to impose sanctions against those who will violate the rules.
MANILA, Philippines – Amid the fight against the novel coronavirus disease, the Department of Health (DOH) said it is also preparing for a possible measles outbreak next year.
According to DOH National Immunization Program Manager Dr. Maria Wilda Silva, they are seeing a massive outbreak of measles in 2021 due to low public response to the agency’s immunization campaign.
Silva said the DOH vaccination program only reached around 67 percent, and that those who have missed the immunization would be susceptible to the measles infection.
There is also an ongoing recirculation of polio virus in communities.
She said an estimated 2.4 million children under the age of five are facing risk of infection from measles and polio.
Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world. It can cause high-grade fever, rashes, cough, eye infection and can lead to complications such as pneumonia, ear infection, blindness, severe diarrhea, and swelling of the brain.
Polio, on the other hand, is a potentially debilitating disease that causes fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness and can eventually lead to lifelong paralysis.
If severe enough, both diseases can ultimately lead to death.
The DOH said there is no specific treatment for these illnesses and that the only reliable protection is through vaccination.
To avert a possible outbreak, the department said it will roll out a supplemental immunization activity against measles, rubella, and polio starting Oct. 26.
Under the immunization program, children aged 9 to 59 months old will be given measles-rubella vaccine while 0 to 59 months old will be provided with oral polio vaccine.
The health department said the program will be rolled out in two phases – phase 1 will be conducted from Oct. 26 to Nov. 25 in Mindanao, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley Region, MIMAROPA Region, and Bicol Region; while phase 2 will be held in February 2021 in Visayas, National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.
The DOH said the vaccination activity will be conducted in a modified site with health workers donning personal protective equipment due to the continuing threat of COVID-19.
Parents and caregivers are urged to have their children immunized to protect them from measles, polio, and rubella. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)
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