MOH-BARMM immunizes 63% of children population in Lanao vs. measles

ZAMBOANGA. The Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM) vaccinates some 63 percent of the 271,425 target number of children to be immunized against measles in Lanao del Sur. A photo handout shows a father comforted his daughter while a health worker injected vaccine on the child.
ZAMBOANGA. The Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM) vaccinates some 63 percent of the 271,425 target number of children to be immunized against measles in Lanao del Sur. A photo handout shows a father comforted his daughter while a health worker injected vaccine on the child. (Contributed)

THE Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM) has already vaccinated some 63 percent of the 271,425 target number of children to be immunized against measles in Lanao del Sur, the MOH-BARMM said Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Dr. Alinader Minalang, Provincial Health Officer II of the Integrated Provincial Health Office-Lanao del Sur (IPHO-LDS), said they have so far vaccinated 171,315 children following the measles outbreak in the province.

“The peak of measles cases happened in October to November 2023. This outbreak happened because of the decline of our immunization rate here in Lanao del Sur,” Minalang said in a statement.

Minalang said that previous challenges like the Marawi siege, the Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the Dengvaxia scare, and misinformation about vaccination resulted in the decline of immunization rate.

“Last year, we had our first case of measles here in Lanao del Sur. According to the guidelines of the WHO (World Health Organization) and the Department of Health (DOH), a single confirmed case of measles is considered an outbreak,” Dr. Nihaya Macasindil, chief of staff of IPHO-LDS.

“The outbreak prompted the need for mass immunization of all target populations in the region,” Macasindil added.

The measles outbreak in Lanao del Sur has resulted in the deaths of 13 unvaccinated children, with a total of 1,300 reported measles cases.

Minalang said the DOH has recommended a non-selective approach in the immunization campaign against measles.

With this, the IPHOs in BARMM are reaching out to children aged six months to nine years, regardless of their vaccination status.

The only exception is for those who got vaccinated within four weeks before the campaign began.

Minalang said they still call for the strengthened cooperation of all stakeholders to prevent further outbreaks of vaccine-preventable life-threatening diseases although the campaign has already reached 63 percent of its target population in the 39 municipalities of Lanao del Sur.

Minalang said they are still conducting house-to-house visitations and awareness campaigns to end the measles outbreak with the support of all concerned stakeholders, including the local government units. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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