THE Provincial Health Office (PHO) reported that measles cases in Negros Occidental increased by 4,430 percent this year.
Dr. ErnellTumimbang, Provincial Health Officer, said on Thursday, March 14, that there will be a massive measles vaccination in 18 localities on March 18.
According to the latest record of the PHO, there were 453 cases of measles reported from January 1 to March 9 this year. Over the same period last year, only eight cases were reported.
Three deaths have already been reported this year.
San Carlos City has the most number of measles cases with 44; Cadiz City follows with 39; Calatrava, 37; Victorias City, 28; Bago City, 24; Sagay City, 22; Moises Padilla and Toboso with 21 cases each; and Kabankalan City, 19.
“The number of measles cases is still high but we will launch a Massive vaccination on March 18,” said Tumimbang.
The simultaneous vaccinations will be held in Sagay City, Toboso, Salvador Benedicto, Silay City, Escalante City, Isabela, Cadiz City, Talisay City, La Castellana, E.B. Magalona, Moises Padilla, Pontevedra, La Carlota City, Pulupandan, San Enrique, Valladolid, Hinoba-an and Sipalay City.
Tumimbang said that the massive vaccination is under the new plan to saturate children from six months to 59 months with measles vaccination.
“They will be gathered at the designated area of every local government unit where the en mass vaccination will be held,” Tumimbang said.
Other localities have already conducted supplemental vaccination early this year when an outbreak was declared in Western Visayas including Negros Occidental.
The approach before was a house-to-house campaign, Tumimbang said.
The new plan was undertaken after the PHO was given the authority by the Provincial Board to conduct the massive vaccination all over the province.
The DOH has confirmed that Negros Occidental has the most number of measles cases in Western Visayas per record of the regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) for the first two months of 2019.
Dr. Mary Jane Juanico of the Health Development Department of the Department of Health in Western Visayas said they are conducting daily monitoring of measles cases all over Western Visayas after an outbreak was reported.
She also said that not less than 10 cases of measles are recorded every day.