GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews) – Health personnel in Sarangani Province are targeting to immunize some 33,575 learners this year under the government’s school-based immunization program. Ma. Razel Bustaria, maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition coordinator of the Sarangani Provincial Health Office (PHO), said Friday their preparations are underway for the implementation of the program in various schools in the province.
She said the Department of Health (DOH) has set the start of the annual school-based immunization program this month.
Citing their records, she said they are aiming to cover a total of 12,770 Grade 1 and 12,102 Grade 7 learners and 8,703 girls aged nine years old.
“Vaccination has been proven to be the most effective public health intervention and in countering disease outbreaks,” she said in a statement.
Bustaria said the DOH has come up with the routine immunization plan due to the increasing cases of disease outbreaks, especially measles.
She said the Grades 1 and 7 learners will be vaccinated with Measles-Rubella (MR) and Tetanus-Diphtheria (Td).
MR vaccine is for measles and rubella, which are highly contagious and could spread through the air from person to person, through coughing, sneezing, or simply breathing.
The Td vaccine is for tetanus, which is also a serious illness caused by tetanus bacteria.
She said girls aged nine years-old will be given with Human papilloma vaccine (HPV) in coordination with the health centers.
“The HPV is one of the preventive interventions for cervical cancer in later life,” she said.
Bustaria said the immunization activities will be done in coordination with DOH Region 12 and public schools in Sarangani.
In 2016, the Sarangani PHO was cited as Region 12’s top performer in the implementation of the school-based immunization program.
The province posted an accomplishment rating of 94 percent for Grade 1 and 91 percent for Grade 7. MindaNews