BULACAN --- Due to the continuous rise in measles cases, the Bulacan Provincial government together with the Department of Health (DOH) Region 3 will hold a mass immunization in all 596 barangays in the province.
Measles cases across Bulacan have already reached 286 in the month of January alone; a more than 3,000% increase to last year’s seven cases during the same month.
The highest number recorded was in San Jose del Monte with 48; Baliuag with 33; Bocaue with 32; and Marilao with 21.
The infection already killed six infants age five months and below.
The situation prompted the local government unit (LGU) to intensify its Oplan Ligtas Tigdas program which was recently launched in the municipality of Malolos through the collaboration of the DOH Region 3 and the Bulacan Health Office, and the LGU.
All heads of barangays and health workers were directed to make rounds in communities to administer the immunization especially to babies who have no records of vaccination.
“Kailangan po namin ang pakiisa ninyo. (Mag) house to house. Ang target po natin ay ang mga nasa bahay wether they’re kinder,or day care (level) pero 1 month old or 6 months old. Ang kailangan po natin dito ay tulong ng mga kapitan,” appealed Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado.
In response, heads of barangays vowed to support the program for their respective constituents.
“Pupuntahan namin ang mga bahay-bahay per purok, may mga barangay health workers, volunteers,” assured Barangay Calumpit chairman Eugenio Garsota.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wilbert Ilerya of Pulilan Municipal Health Office suggested a schedule for the immunization program per barangay to avoid further spread of the infection.
He also stressed that once the mass immunization is launched, the local health center should make sure that there is enough supply of vaccines.
“This is a time of outbreak, kailangan may maibibigay na bakuna, para mahinto mo na yung paglaganap nung ng kaso ng measles,” Ilerya said.
The Health Regional Office, meanwhile, assured that there will be enough supply of vaccine for every barangay but in case of shortage, they can always ask for additional supply from the provincial health office.
“As of now, wala po tayong kulang sa mga bakuna. Sapat papo ang ating bilang, If ever magkukulang man po we could always request from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to give another batch of vaccine from regular vaccination natin,” assured Dr. Shiela Mae Geronimo, DOH-3’s Development Management Officer 4.
Based on DOH-Region 3 records, Pampanga remains the highest in number of measles cases with 652; Bulacan with 560; and Tarlac with 333 cases.
DOH calls on the seven provinces in Region 3 to put up an isolation ward in every district and provincial hospitals to accommodate measles-infected patients.
“We are having an outbreak at a regional level and the Bulacan level. We need to have isolation areas of all the hospital that we have whether it is level 1,2,3 hospital,” Geronimo emphasized. (with reports from Nestor Torres)