The Department of Health (DOH) in Calabarzon has given itself a pat on the back for its role in a recently concluded immunization effort that has successfully vaccinated over a million children against potentially serious diseases threatening newborns, toddlers and preschoolers.
The supplemental immunization activity (SIA) against measles, rubella and poliovirus dubbed “Chikiting Ligtas,” was held in the five-province region from May 2 to June 15.
This effort represented the regional component of a nationwide vaccination campaign that sought to protect over nine million Filipino children from the measles-rubella virus, and more than 11 million kids from the polio virus.
In an email to the media on Monday, DOH-Calabarzon’s Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD), reported that 1,031,959 children or 75.87 percent of the target population in the region received their measles-rubella jabs.
It was also reported that compared to other regions, Calabarzon claims the highest number of kids vaccinated against the measles-rubella virus under the recently concluded DOH effort.
Similarly, 213,296 children or 72.55 percent of the government’s target population in the region received their oral polio vaccines, the DOH-CHD further disclosed.
The provinces under the Calabarzon region are Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.
Meanwhile, health officials and workers, as well as partners in the public and private sectors, were feted for their efforts in making the Chikiting Ligtas activity a success in Calabarzon.
The DOH-CHD gave out its “Good Jab Awards” to its employees and allies in ceremonies held at the Lima Park Hotel in Malvar, Batangas last Friday.
Given awards were DOH personnel responsible for the highest number of jabs, as well as city and municipal health offices in jurisdictions where immunization efforts were particularly successful.
Also given recognition were media organizations that helped inform parents throughout Calabarzon about the vaccination campaign.
Among the news outfits spotlighted for bringing Chikiting Ligtas to the public’s attention was the Philippines News Agency, and community press including Balikas News Network (BNN).
For her part, Dr. Leda Hernandez, assistant regional director at the DOH-CHD, said journalists play a crucial role in educating their readers and audiences on the benefits of vaccination amid ignorance and lack of information.
“There are still a small number of parents who are hesitant about having their kids vaccinated that is why we have dispatched our health promoters and advocacy units to talk to the mothers and explain the importance of getting jabs. We point out to them how only a handful of people are afflicted with polio nowadays. This proves that the immunization program over the years has worked,” she said in Filipino.| – BNN/PNA