THE Zamboanga City Health Office is continuously strengthening its campaign to protect children against vaccine preventable diseases, as it reports 65.46 percent accomplishment in the first 15 days of implementation of the nationwide Measles Rubella Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA) in Zamboanga City.

However, Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite, city health officer, has strongly urged parents, guardians and caretakers to allow their children zero to 59 months old to avail of the free and safe vaccines during door-to-door campaigns carried out by health workers in the villages.

“We hope that the mothers will cooperate with us because our health workers are doing their best despite the scorching heat of the sun to reach out to all eligible population in the barangays,” Miravite said.

Meanwhile, Philippine Red Cross-Zamboanga City chapter volunteers braved the scorching sun, rugged terrain and other challenges to fulfill the mission to immunize children zero to 59 months old against vaccine-preventable diseases.

The team of the PRC-Zamboanga City chapter covers far-flung villages for the MR-OPV SIA in support of the City Health Office.

Miravite hoped that they would accomplish 100 percent of the target for the MR-OPV SIA by May 31, the last day of the supplemental immunization activity.

Over 100 vaccination teams, apart from those set up by private hospitals and clinics, have been deployed to effectively serve the target population in the city’s 98 villages through the conduct of house-to-house visits, fixed mobile and fixed station approaches.

Miravite admitted that refusal of some parents to allow their children to be vaccinated is a major challenge encountered by health workers on field.

“Our measles rubella vaccines have been there for over 40 to 50 years. It is already established and it really works. We appeal to parents to take advantage of the protection that the vaccines give to our children,” she added. (SunStar Zamboanga)