Bacolod targets 58,000 kids for polio, MR immunization


The Bacolod City Health Office is targeting the immunization of about 58,000 kids during the month-long Measles Rubella-Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA), starting May 1.

“Immunization remains as the best option to prevent measles/German measles and their complications,” Dr. Grace Tan, head of the CHO Environmental Sanitation Division said as she reported that three cases of Measles/Rubella have been logged in Bacolod since the start of this year.

The cases were noted in barangays Bata, Taculing, and Vista Alegre, Tan said.

The nationwide MR-OPV SIA, to be led by the Department of Health, aims to eliminate these vaccine preventable diseases and prevent an outbreak, with a 95-percent immunization target coverage for all children zero to 59 months old for polio, and nine to 59 months for MR.

Health authorities said rubella is a contagious viral infection best known by its distinctive red rash. It’s also called German measles or three-day measles, and can cause serious problems for unborn babies, whose mothers become infected during pregnancy.

“Signs and symptoms of rubella are often difficult to notice, especially in children. They generally appear between two and three weeks after exposure to the virus, and usually last about one to five days and may include mild fever, headache, stuffy or runny nose, red and itchy eyes, enlarged, tender lymph nodes at the base of the skull, the back of the neck and behind the ears, and pink rash, the DOH said.

If you’re considering getting pregnant, check your vaccination record to make sure that you’ve received MMR vaccine, it added. “If you’re pregnant and you develop rubella, especially during the first trimester, the virus can cause death or serious birth defects in the developing fetus; rubella during pregnancy is the most common cause of congenital deafness so it’s best to be protected against rubella before pregnancy.”

Meanwhile, Tan also reported 172 cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) logged from Jan. 1 to April 8, with 150 of them affecting kids one to 10 years old.

Barangays with most cases include Villamonte with 27, Handumanan – 24, Taculing – 15, Vista Alegre – 12, Estefania – 11, Singcang, Alijis, Bata, Mandalagan, and Mansilingan with seven cases each, Tangub and Banago with six cases each, and Pahanocoy with five.

The CHO stressed the importance of hand washing especially after touching an infected person, body fluids or feces, keeping an infected child or person at home to avoid transmission, and avoid sharing of items./CGC