FOLLOWING the declaration of a measles outbreak in Central Visayas, the Cebu Provincial Government directed at least 8,000 barangay health workers (BHWs) to intensify their house-to-house education campaign on vaccination.
In an interview Monday, Feb. 11, Provincial Board member Jose Mari Salvador, committee on health chairman, said all BHWs in the towns and cities of the province were tasked to educate parents on the importance of vaccination.
“We don’t have a problem on our supply of vaccines for measles, but maybe parents are afraid because of the Dengvaxia scare. That is why we’re mobilizing our BHWs to encourage parents to have their kids vaccinated,” he said.
Salvador added that as frontliners, BHWs have a good relationship with parents, which will help convince the latter that the Provincial Health Office’s immunization program will not harm their children.
Salvador said the Capitol will also coordinate with the local parent-teacher associations (PTA) to strengthen their education campaign.
“We have to tap the schools and link with the PTAs. As a board member, I will attend the PTA meetings to educate the parents... We have to do so because they are the ones who will give consent for the vaccination of their children,” he added.
For Gov. Hilario Davide III, there is a need to go to the communities to let the parents understand the importance of giving their children anti-measles vaccines.
“I think the fear caused by Dengvaxia is one of the reasons the parents are reluctant to have their children vaccinated, that is why educating them is crucial. We have to make them aware that the vaccine for measles is safe,” he said.
The Dengvaxia scare began when pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur announced in 2017 that its dengue vaccine could be risky for people who were not previously infected with dengue. (RTF)