The month-long campaign to start in May

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to administer measles and oral polio vaccines to more than one million children in Eastern Visayas in its month-long immunization drive in May.

The activity will cover 471,472 children (9 months to 50 months old) for measles and 550,559 children (0 to 59 months old) for polio.

“This campaign aims to prevent an impending outbreak and the continuous rise of measles and polio cases in the country,” Elena Villarosa, DOH 8 (Eastern Visayas) national immunization program manager, said in a phone interview Thursday.

The DOH held a preparatory workshop and microplanning in five batches for health workers in Biliran, Southern Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Leyte, Tacloban City, and Ormoc City.

Villarosa assured the public that the vaccines used in the government’s immunization campaign against measles-rubella and polio are safe and effective.

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world. It is characterized by high-grade fever, rashes, cough, sore eyes, and runny nose and can lead to such complications as pneumonia, blindness, severe diarrhea, swelling of the brain, and even death.

Polio, on the other hand, is a potentially debilitating disease that causes fever, neck stiffness, and muscle weakness, and can eventually lead to lifelong paralysis.
The DOH said there is no specific treatment for both measles and polio, and the only reliable protection is through vaccination.