Intensified drive vs. pneumonia launched-A A +A
Sunday, August 5, 2012
THE Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) and MSD, a global health care company, launched a program dubbed as “60+ na ako at OKs ang bakuna ko laban sa pulmonya.”
The program will allow Philhealth elderly members to easily avail themselves of the vaccine against pneumococcal disease.
Under this program, the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine will be made more accessible to Philhealth senior members and dependents at a discounted rate of at least 60 percent, which means, that a patient only needs to pay P600.
A public information campaign is also being conducted to improve the health of those at risk of acquiring pneumococcal disease by promoting the importance of vaccination.
The campaign also seeks to inform members of the benefits of being a Philhealth member.
Elderly members or those 60 years old and above, have been identified as the most vulnerable to pneumococcal infections and serious complications such as pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs), bacteremia (presence of infection in the blood), and meningitis (inflammation of the brain).
Streptococcus pneumoniae has been reported as the most common bacterial cause of community-acquired pneumonia.
Though vaccine-preventable, invasive pneumococcal disease remains a top cause of hospitalization and mortality cases among the elderly worldwide, with most deaths occurring in developing countries like the Philippines.
Pneumococcal vaccines provide protection against the most prevalent and invasive serotypes of this organism.
In the United States, vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia has been linked to a decrease in the incidence of the disease among the elderly.
The immunization initiative of Philhealth and MSD reaffirmed the public-private partnership of the two organizations in promoting accessible health care to Filipinos.
Philhealth elderly members may avail of the vaccine by going to the nearest Philhealth-accredited hospitals designated as vaccine access points.
They are advised to bring their membership card (for members) or their member data record (for dependents) along with the doctor’s prescription.
For more details, one may call PhilHealth call center at 441-7442.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 06, 2012.