City schools ordered to comply with immunization program

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong on July 29 ordered all public and private pre-school and elementary schools until Grade 7 to comply with the school-based immunization program of the Dept. of Health (DOH) to ensure the eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases in the city.

In Executive Order No. 30-19, the mayor noted the low immunization coverage in the city which makes the children susceptible to diseases and risks the development of outbreaks and epidemics despite the availability of free, potent and high quality vaccines.

“Since the year 2000, Baguio City has recorded five measles outbreak, the recent was during the first quarter of 2019,” the mayor said.

“Immunization coverage based on health centers’ report of Field Health Service Information System of Fully Immunized Children (FIC) from 2004 to 2017 was from 41 percent to 71 percent far from the 95 percent target set by the (DOH).”

The mayor also highlighted that in the recently conducted School-Based Immunization, Baguio City recorded the lowest in the whole Cordillera Administrative Region which was attributed to factors like the dengvaxia scare.

He said the achievement of 95 percent fully immunized schoolchildren rests on the “unified commitments of the national government, local government unit, school heads, health workers, communities, parents and all sectors of society.”

In his order, the mayor directed the continuation of measles outbreak response vaccination and the regular school-based immunization nationwide to all eligible schoolchildren from pre-school to Grade 7 as per Department of Education Memorandum 08-0518-0181.

He also ordered the mobilization of the city government, school boards, school heads and other sectors to support the program and spelled out the tasks of the implementing agencies – the DOH Center for Health Development Cordillera as lead agency, the Department of Education Division of Baguio and the city government through the Health Services Office and the Parents, Teachers and Community Association.

The DOH CHD-CAR will implement the programs, formulate, disseminate guidelines, provide technical assistance, conduct school-based advocacy and social mobilization activities, complement health human resource gaps and monitor submission of required reports.

The City Schools Division will ensure that all eligible learners for the year 2019-2020 with zero or one dose of measles containing vaccine will receive the anti-measles dose and the tetanus –diphtheria vaccine, inform learners and parents or guardians on the program and retrieve the notification letters, conduct screening by checking immunization records or school health records, ensure that learners with incomplete immunization will coordinate with the health centers to complete the same and submit report the City National Immunization Program on a weekly basis.

The Health Service Office for its part will initiate micro planning with DOH, DepEd, private schools and HSO staff and carry out plans, ensure provision of cold chain guarded vaccines to all schools, provide health human resource complement during the campaign, report and investigate any adverse event, collate and submit reports from schools on a regular basis and conduct post-evaluation of the program.

The PTCA will help in the promotion of the program and will include in their agenda the information campaign for the immunization campaign in their regular meetings./Aileen P. Refuerzo