The Philippines experienced a Measles outbreak from 2018 to 2019 where more than 70,000 cases and 841 deaths were recorded, mostly children.
Leslie is a mother of four children. Her
youngest child caught measles and suffered severe coughing. He eventually
passed away. If he was protected with vaccine, he would have celebrated his 2nd
birthday this year.
Medical experts say that complete immunization is the most effective way to keep people safe from Measles, and also from Rubella, commonly known as “tigdas hangin”, whose symptoms include fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, head, body and eye aches, chills and anorexia.
Still, many of them, especially children, do
not receive or have not completed immunization so diseases like this remain
widespread in the country.
On September 2019, children were put at risk of lifelong paralysis due to the outbreak of Polio, where the virus enters the body through the mouth, by ingesting contaminated food and water. Most infections do not show symptoms, there is no medicine that could cure this and the only protection is through proper immunization.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, children who
are not yet vaccinated become more at high risk of acquiring preventable
diseases such as Measles, Rubella and Polio.
Three out of four children do not receive
vaccination against Measles. Its vast spread may cause children to experience
severe complications, endangering their precious lives.
The Department of Health (DOH) believes that
no children should suffer or die from diseases that have long had effective and
safe vaccines to fight them.
Child-focused humanitarian agency World
Vision, for more than 60 years in the Philippines, has been committed to
provide children and their families with better opportunities for improved
well-being and sustainable change.
In partnership with DOH, World Vision’s
health and nutrition programs have supported the agency’s implementation,
policy, and capacity building for various nutrition programs such as Infant and
Young Child Feeding, Micronutrient Supplementation, Community-Based Management
of Acute Malnutrition, and Nutrition in Emergencies.
For this year’s immunization program by DOH
called MR-OPV SIA “Chikiting Ligtas sa Dagdag Bakuna Kontra Rubello, Polio, at
Tigdas!” (Kids safe with supplemental vaccines against Rubello, Polio and
Measles), the child-focused organization is again mobilizing its partners to
support this massive campaign.
Data show that people refuse to get
vaccinated because they fear the injection, the vaccine and its side effects.
They are also afraid of acquiring COVID-19 when they go to health centers while
others say they have their own pediatrician to administer the vaccine or it is
against their religious and personal beliefs.
DOH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said the
agency has continuously given immunization services against Measles, Polio,
Rubella and other vaccine-preventable diseases. It has also allocated resources
for the campaign, even for personal protective equipment of the health workers.
“’Wag bibitawan ang ibang immunization activities dahil mahalaga ito upang
proteksyunan ang ating mga kabataan,” (Do not let go of other immunization
activities because these are important at protecting children) the health chief
World Vision will support this through an
immunization awareness campaign by circulating posters in its covered areas
nationwide, along with promotions online, in the media and in institutional
“As we observe the National Children’s Month
this November, we will highlight the overall well-being of children, including
their health through immunization and proper nutrition,” said Rommel V. Fuerte,
World Vision’s National Director.
Immunization-champion moms called “Bakunanay”
shared reassuring messages to mothers about the effectiveness and safety of
vaccines. Demi said “as a parent, it is my responsibility to protect my child
that is why I make sure that my baby has complete protection against
vaccine-preventable diseases like Rubella, Polio and Measles.
Another Bakunanay, Mildred, said “this time
of pandemic, it’s hard to be sick so I complete my baby’s vaccine. I know that
this will not just benefit my family but the whole community as well. Bakunanay
Debbie said “I trust health centers and I want my child to receive the same
vaccines I received when I was young so my baby will be protected from and safe
For those who want to support and know more
about the immunization program of DOH and World Vision's work, visit doh.gov.ph
You may also follow /worldvisionph on
Facebook and @worldvisionphl on Instagram for updates.
About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and
advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, their families and
communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by its Christian faith
and values, it is dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people.
It serves and collaborates with all people regardless of religion, race,
ethnicity or gender.