Manila tops Chikiting Ligtas vax program

The government of Manila has achieved 100 percent coverage of the measles-rubella, polio vaccination program under the Chikiting Ligtas 2023 nationwide supplemental immunization campaign.

The project is aimed at vaccinating children against measles, rubella and polio.

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna thanked city personnel, especially those from the Manila Health Department headed by Dr. Arnold Pangan for their collaborative effort.

Manila topped the list of local government units in immunizing the most number of kids against measles, rubella and polio, in record time.

Pangan on Monday told the Manila City Hall Reporters’ Association forum that the Manila LGU has already achieved 97 percent coverage in the case of measles and rubella and 92 percent for polio.

He also expressed confidence that the city will be able to reach its 100 percent target within the week and he proved himself right.

The mayor said that all of the six city-run hospitals and 44 health centers were mobilized and utilized so that all the children who are qualified to avail of the free immunization were covered swiftly.

Lacuna, a doctor, underscored that the said illnesses may have life-altering effects for children who contract them, along with their families.

As of 25 May, a total of 102.24 percent or 151,077 children in Manila had been vaccinated for measles and rubella while 96.93 percent or 167,833 children have been given oral polio vaccine.

Pangan reported that Manila’s top ranking in the nationwide immunization drive was based on the CY 2023 Measles Rubella Supplemental Immunization Activity Accomplishment Report.

It showed that the total percentage of vaccinated children in Manila reached 100.86 percent and that of the 147,771 target eligible population (9-59 months old), the total number of children vaccinated reached 149,043.

For the success of the program, Pangan credited MHD employees, barangay officials led by Liga ng mga Barangay President Lei Lacuna and Manila Barangay Bureau director Boroboy Santiago for their support that ensured the success of the city government’s efforts to immunize as many children at the soonest time possible.

The “Chikiting Ligtas 2023: Join the Big Catch Up, Magpabakuna para sa Healthy Pilipinas!,” was launched in observation of World Immunization Week in April 2023 by the Department of Health, together with developmental partners United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization.

The DoH has said that measles, rubella and polio are preventable diseases that can have serious consequences for children. Measles can cause pneumonia, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and death, while rubella can cause congenital rubella syndrome, which can lead to birth defects in babies born to mothers who are infected with the virus during pregnancy. Polio can cause paralysis, and there is no cure.

The DoH has urged all parents to ensure that their children are vaccinated against measles, rubella and polio.

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