DOH launches nationwide school immunization program

The Department of Health (DOH) together with the Department of Education (Dep-Ed) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), is implementing nationwide this month the Bakuna para sa Kabataan, Protekyon sa Kinabukasan, a free immunization program for students in public schools.

According to Health Secretary Janette Garin, immunization can avert about two to three million deaths every year from diphtheria, tetanus, measles and rubella (german measles). In addition, more effort is needed to reach the underserved, especially those in remote areas.

The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly supports school-based immunization. DOH uses vaccines approved by WHO, which is safe, effective and used worldwide.

As it is part of the government’s commitment to eliminate the emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases, DOH partners with DepEd to vaccinate boys and girls in Grades 1 to 7 against measles, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria.

DOH also teams up with DILG to launch a community-based immunization program against human pappilomavirus (HPV), the main cause of cervical cancer. In the Philippines, cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of female mortality with 12 Filipino women dying every day.

Through the community-based program, females aged 9-10 years will be vaccinated against HPV for free, to prevent infection and life-threatening diseases.

DOG encourages the public, especially mothers, to undergo cervical cancer screening. Pap smear or visual inspection using acetic acid (VIA) should be done on women who are sexually active or have a history of sexual contact as cervical cancer screening methods. Cervical cancer can be treated and cured if detected early. Cervical cancer screening is available at DOH-retained hospitals.

“The immunization will be given to students with parental/guardian consent. The small step that we take today in protecting our children will be a humongous significance in assuring their health,” Garin said.

The school-based immunization will be conducted every August.

source: Philippine Star
Health & Medicine