Saturday Jun, 15 2024 06:23:27 PM

BARMM “bakunadors” in house-to-house vaccination vs measles 

HEALTH • 06:00 AM Sat Apr 6, 2024
Edwin O. Fernandez
IMMUNIZED. A child in Pagalungan, Maguindanao del Sur smiles after a barangay health worker gave her an anti-measles shot on the first day of massive vaccination against measles-rubella in BARMM. (Pagalungan RHU)

COTABATO CITY - Over 2,500 medical workers and barangay health front liners have been deployed across the Bangsamoro Region Autonomous in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to start the campaign to mitigate the spread of the measles virus.

They have been visiting the homes of every Bangsamoro to inoculate children against disease, micronutrient supplementation, and community engagement.

An outbreak of measles-rubella cases has been declared in the region after the health ministry recorded almost 600 cases of measles with three fatalities from January 1 to March 20.

Various rural health units in BARMM’s 116 municipalities kicked off the vaccination campaign Monday morning (April 1).  It will last until April 20 hoping to reach the 1.3 million children six months old to below 10 years old.

Ministry of Health (MOH-BARMM) Deputy Minister Dr. Zul Qarneyn Abas said the MOH-BARMM targets to vaccinate at least 90 percent of the high-risk population, especially children from 6 months to 9 years of age in a bid to control measles, including the 1.3 million targeted by BARMM who will be vaccinated on April 1 to 15, 2024.

“As of March 26, the MOH-BARMM recorded 597 measles cases. The epidemiologic profile shows that those under five years of age and who are unvaccinated are the most affected,” Abas told Health Sec. Secretary Teodoro Herbosa in the meeting last week.

Maguindanao del Norte has the highest measles cases with 172, followed by Lanao del Sur with 162, Sulu province with 135, Marawi City with 86, Maguindanao del Sur with 19, Special Geographic Areas of BARMM with two, Basilan with 14, Cotabato City with four, and Tawi-Tawi with three.

“There is no specific treatment for the virus that causes measles. However, vaccination protects against it,” the DOH secretary said.

Herbosa assured Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim that DOH will assist in the massive anti-measles inoculation.

“I told Chief Minister Ebrahim that the very reason we are here is because we want to help the region in the vaccination,” Herbosa said.

During his visit, he supervised the preparation of on-the-ground response activities to contain the measles cases in BARMM.

"We should intensify activities to mitigate the spread of the virus through vaccination, micronutrient supplementation, and community engagement,” Herbosa said.

About 2,590 Barangay health workers across BARMM, called by locals as “bakunadors,” would visit houses in their respective areas of assignment to immunize vulnerable children.

Abas told a news conference that he was confident the hesitancy rate would be reduced after the “Bangsamoro Daruf Ifta” vowed to support the massive vaccination.

Sheik Mohammad Pangca of Bangsamoro Darul Ifta said his group is committed to helping MOH educate the mothers, fathers, and every Bangsamoro that the vaccines are safe.

Islamic preachers have been integrating education campaigns in their respective “Khutba,” (sermon by Islamic preachers) about the benefits of vaccination from MOH. 

May be an image of 6 people and text

     May be an image of text that says 'unicef for every child As of 30 March 2024 668 measles cases reported in Bangsamoro region 2024 March 30, 2024 Measles-Rubella Reported Cases, BARMM Ministry of Health'

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