• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
When it comes to the number of children vaccinated, against measles, rubella and polio, during the first eight days of ongoing Chikiting Ligtas campaign in Western Visayas, Negros Occidental has the lead among the regions’ provinces and highly urbanized cities, records of the Department of Health – Western Visayas showed.
From May 1 to 8, records of the Department of Health – Western Visayas Center for Health Development, a total of 84,758 kids with ages five years and below were vaccinated, which represents 38.08 percent of the targeted 222,590 children.
Dr. Adriano Suba-an, DOH Western Visayas regional director, yesterday admitted that he was surprised by the initial outcome of supplemental immunization activity of Negros Occidental, noting that the province had ranked last in the list of provinces of Region 6, with a low turnout in COVID-19 vaccination.
Suba-an said he was completely surprised by the motivation and enthusiasm on the high percentage accomplishment of Negros Occidental for MR OPV SIA (Measles, Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity), which is being conducted simultaneously nationwide, until May 31.
Because of low turnout in MR OPV SIA due to COVID-19 in the past years, with an accomplishment of 59.2 percent, out of a target of 95 percent, he admitted fearing for measles and rubella outbreaks in the region.
Suba-an lauded Negros Occidental local chief executives and health officials for a job well done in the first week implementation of the supplemental immunization activity.
In the remaining three weeks, Negros Occidental has to inoculate 126,703 more kids to achieve its target of 95 percent, which is 222,590 children and infants.
In the same period, Iloilo ranked second in the measles and rubella vaccination with 38,889 children vaccinated, Capiz – 18,540, Aklan – 15,264, Antique – 12,300, Bacolod City – 11,926 and Iloilo City – 9,580.
Among 31 component cities and municipalities of Negros Occidental, Cadiz City topped the supplemental vaccination campaign with 6,872 kids inoculated, followed by Sagay City with 6,261, and 5,772 in Himamaylan City, making them among the top three performers in the province.*