Mass vaccination for Yolanda Survivors
by FFE PH News staff
The Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched today a mass vaccination campaign to prevent outbreaks of polio and measles among the survivors of typhoon Yolanda.
“Large numbers of non- or under-vaccinated children are at risk of contracting and spreading infectious diseases such as measles- particularly in congested areas where the homeless are now living,” said Dr. Julie Hall, WHO representative in the Philippines.
Since they are most at risk, children between six months to five years old in areas worst battered by typhoon Yolanda will be the campaign’s priority. The vaccinations will extend to children up to 15 years old if the resources allow, according to DOH.
“Our system is shaken but not broken,” said DOH secretary Enrique Ona. “With the support of partners, vaccinations have been re-launched at a vital time.”
Aside from vaccines against polio and measles, children will also be given Vitamin A drops to boost their immune systems.
The necessary supplies to set up immunization stations were finalized by the two agencies and volunteer nurses are headed to the disaster zones this weekend to administer the medications.
The campaign will start in evacuation centres in Tacloban city and receiving centres in Cebu this weekend, where affected families are seeking temporary shelter.
As of 21 November (6am), DOH has deployed115 local and foreign medical teams in the affected areas, consisting of 1,575 personnel.