Pampanga reinforces vaccine confidence with DOH’s School-based Immunization program

The Pampanga provincial government is strengthening its health infrastructure and disease prevention programs by bolstering confidence in vaccines to protect children and adolescents from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, tetanus, diphtheria, and cervical cancer.

Through the multi-sectoral efforts of the Department of Health (DOH) – Central Luzon Center for Health Development, Department of Education (DepEd), and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Pampanga kicked off the DOH’s “Balik Tiwala sa Bakuna” School-based Immunization (SBI) program at Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando City, Thursday, August 1.

The “Balik Tiwala sa Bakuna” initiative endeavors to educate the public on the safety and efficacy of vaccines and promote disease prevention through early immunization.

One of the consequences of declining vaccine confidence is the outbreak of measles in the Philippines, with a reported 28,362 measles cases including 389 deaths as of April this year. In Pampanga, a total of 601 cases of measles was reported in 2018, with a morbidity rate of 14. This year, the local numbers increased to 1,615 reported cases, with 35 deaths recorded as of June 2019. Other vaccine-preventable diseases include tetanus and diphtheria. Pampanga reported 4 deaths due to tetanus and 1 death caused by diphtheria in 2019.

 “Full force po ang provincial government sa pababa ng programa. Same thing po sa ating mga NCWs,BHWs, kayo po ang isa sa mga pinakamalaking tulong sa provincial government. I-advise na po natin lahat ng mga magulang. Sa mga barangay captains, maraming salamat po sa suporta niyo. Ito nanaman po kami lumalapit sainyo para bigyan ng pansin ang programang ito. Para sa mga kabataan po ito,” Pampanga Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda said.

Also present in the event is Pampanga 2nd district representative Mikey Arroyo.

“Pabalik tamu ing tiwala da reng kabalen tamu kareng programa ning DOH. Dakal pung issue kanita keng dengvaxia, makatakut pu ne. Pero these programs of the DOH are very sound. Ikami pu keng national government kayabe pu e Rimpy Bondoc, Dong Gonzales and Jon-jon Lazatin. Full support po kami sa programa ng ating gobernadora. As the Vice Chairman of Appropriations, I advised our assistant secretary, lahat po ng proyekto ng DOH, ilagay mo sa national expenditure program. Ako na bahala magdefend sa kongreso,” Arroyo said.

DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Maria Francia M. Laxamana said “Nandito pa rin sa atin ayung lagim ng dengvaxia, alisin ninyo na po yan sa picture. Aminado naman na may pagkakamali sa dengvaxia pero tinutugunan po ng Department of Health ang lahat ng po ng   pagkukulang na nangyari.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Marcelo Jaochico, provincial health officer, gave an overview of the status of immunization in Pampanga while Dr. Jennifer Co from the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) expounded on the value of HPV vaccination.  

“Ideyal ang bakuna laban sa HPV sa mas batang edad tulad ng 9 to 14 years old sa babae dahil malakas pa ang resistensya ng kanilang katawan na nagd udulot ng magandang pagtanggap sa bakuna,” Jaochico said.

Theresa Marie Bondoc, Health Education and Promotion Officer of Central Luzon Center for Health Development (CLCHD) led the call to action n that underscored the need for combined efforts from government agencies, medical societies, private sector, and members of the community in building a more resilient health system for immunization.  

The “Balik Tiwala Sa Bakuna” kickoff event was joined by Anthony Joseph Torres, Fritzie David Dizon, Ananias Canlas, Rosve Henson, Nelson Calara and Paul Balingit, Board Members of the Pampanga; Dr. Cesar Cassion, Career Executive Service Officer (CESO) IV of the DOH – Central Luzon Center for Health Development; and Dr. Nicolas T. Capulong, CESO V from DepEd Region 3 represented by Dr. Justine Danniela Arceo, Medical Officer III of the Division of City of San Fernando.
Photos and article by Larrica Angela Cunanan

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