BY GLENDA SOLOGASTOA
ILOILO – A total of 479,320 children aging five years old and below in this province are scheduled for special immunization in September.
According to Provincial Health Officer 1 Dr. Ma. Socorro Colmenares-Quiñon, there will be a simultaneous nationwide measles-rubella and polio mass immunization, an activity being conducted every three years.
Of the total number, PHO targets 258,833 children aging from one year old to five years old will be immunized for measles-rubella (MR) and 220,487 children from zero to 59 months for oral polio vaccine.
Quiñon said the special immunization is designed to give a catch-up immunization especially for those kids who were not able to avail themselves of the second dose for MR and polio.
Quiñon enthused that Iloilo has the highest accomplishment in the expanded program on immunization compared to other provinces in the region.
This means Iloilo children below one year old were given vaccines for preventable diseases like diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT), influenza and polio, she stressed.
Based on the 2013 data of the PHO, towns in Iloilo with the highest accomplishments of more than 95 percent (fully immunized children) are Sta. Barbara, Barotac Nuevo, Anilao, Banate, Pavia, Dingle and Leon.
All the rest registered below 95 percent.
Quiñon emphasized that immunization for children in rural health centers are for free.
Last year, Iloilo recorded two deaths due to diphtheria.
“We are avoiding this from happening again,” Quiñon said as she stressed the need for vaccination against diphtheria./PN