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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesFriday, February 18, 2011
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DOH Region 7 targets 253,820
kids for measles immunization

BY JUANCHO GALLARDE

The Department of Health in Region 7 is targeting  253,820 children  in Negros Oriental for immunization against measles (tigdas) and rubella (dalap) starting April this year.

The massive measles-rubella immunization, dubbed “Ligtas sa Tigdas ang Pinas”, aims at eliminating measles and rubella by 2012, said Dr. Naida Bautista, Region 7 Child Care Program and Expanded Program on Immunization coordinator, at an orientation seminar in Dumaguete City.

In  the first quarter of  2010, the DOH  recorded a sudden increase in measles cases in the three provinces of Central Visayas. Siquijor topped the list with 29 cases and, Negros Oriental had two.

Most of the victims were aged 1-4 years. Bohol had no documented case for measles because in 2007 it had successfully stomped out the virus, DOH records showed.

This year, from January to the first week of February, there were four cases of measles in the region, one each in Lapu-lapu City, Barili, and Cebu City, all is Cebu province, and one from Zamboanguita in Negros Oriental.

The door-to-door immunization campaign is expected to reduce the number of children at risk of getting measles and being susceptible to the virus.  Bautista said it will be conducted regardless of the immunization status of the targeted children, including those from mobile and roaming families, provided they have not received the vaccine in the last four weeks.*JG

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