TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said that the ongoing mass immunization on measles and polio would help reduce the two diseases that mostly inflict children.

The nationwide immunization on measles and polio for 0 to 5 years old is initiated by the Department of Health which started last September 1. Gov. Petilla said that the DOH has a strong history of conducting mass immunization which results to significant reduction of diseases such as measles and rubella transmission. Saving young lives from death or disability is part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) with includes as part of its goal help curb diseases that inflicts minor, the governor said. “By improving health, poverty is reduced as poor families are provided with vaccines which can be saved from the struggle to pay for the care of a sick child and could better afford to buy more nourishing food, or to provide their children with basic health care or an education,” Gov. Petilla said.

From 1983 to early 2013, the DOH has conducted measles immunization services nationwide that led to 94 percent reduction in the number of measles cases. However, measles outbreaks still occurred in many parts of the country in 2013 and early 2014. The DOH has allotted P 600 million for the vaccination campaign but this has been reduced to P 200 million as support from international partners in the form of donation that include Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccines, vaccines carrier and cold rooms.

Studies show that immunization averts an estimated 2.5 million deaths a year among under 5 years old. The mass immunization campaign dubbed as Measles Rubella Oral Polio Vaccine Mass Immunization or MR OPV MI will address three preventable viral illnesses such as measles, German measles and polio which are all vaccine preventable.
DOH record showed that there are about 11 million children nationwide to be vaccinated while 13 million children will be given oral drops against polio. (AHLETTE REYES)