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Manila tops NCR cities in vaccination of kids vs polio, measles and rubella

Honey Lacuna and Arnold Poks Pangan
Mayor Honey Lacuna and Dr. Arnold 'Poks' Pangan take pride in Manila being the first among other cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the immunization of kids against polio, measles and rubella. (JERRY S. TAN)

The city of Manila posted another accomplishment by being the first city in the National Capital Region (NCR) to achieve 100 percent in the measles-rubella vaccination under the ‘Chikiting Ligtas 2023’ nationwide supplemental immunization campaign aimed at vaccinating children against measles, rubella and polio.

Mayor Honey Lacuna congratulated and thanked all the city personnel, specially from the Manila Health Department headed by its chief Dr. Arnold ‘Poks’ Pangan, who aided in the collaborative effort which resulted in Manila topping the list of local government units (LGUs) in immunizing the most number of kids against measles, rubella and polio, in record time.

Pangan on Monday told the ‘MACHRA’s Balitaan’ forum organized by the Manila City Hall Reporters’ Association that as of that morning, the Manila LGU has already achieved 97 percent in the case of measles and rubella and 92 percent when it comes to polio. He also expressed confidence that the city will be able to reach its 100 percent target within the week and proved himself right.

The said immunization drive was constantly pushed by Mayor Honey Lacuna herself along with Pangan and for the purpose, the mayor said that the 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 will be covered swiftly.

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

As of May 25, 2023, a total of 102.24 percent or 151,077 children have 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 up to 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 also credited the MHD employes, 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 (WIW) in April 2023 by the Department of Health (DOH), together with developmental partners United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Itchie G. Cabayan
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