The month of April was allotted for Supplemental Immunization Activity. RNheals assigned in the hospital were pulled out from April 4 to May 4, 2011 for the “Iligtas sa Tigdas ang Pinas” campaign supported by the DOH Center for Health Development 3. The said program aimed to vaccinate children from 9 months up to below 8 years old with Measles-Rubella live attenuated vaccine. Seminar was thoroughly conducted prior to initiation of activity. Vitamin A supplementation for ages 6 months to 59 months was also added during this SIA.
II. Learning/ Insights
The door-to-door Measles-Rubella immunization campaign was successful. Benefits include total convenience of the recipients of care, and low possibility of having missed children. The DOH standard regarding this program is an appropriate strategy in alleviation and total eradication of Measles-Rubella in the country. Measles is highly contagious viral disease with mode of transmission through respiration, direct contact with fluids from an infected person’s nose and mouth, either directly or through aerosol transmission. Rubella (German measles) in the other hand is included in the TORCH complex. Rubella infection poses risks to pregnant women especially during the organogenesis and attributed to congenital cardiac, cerebral, ophthalmic and auditory defects of the newborn.
Health education regarding the benefits and ill effects of Measles-Rubella gain the participation of community as it poses risks to anyone especially to the vulnerable part of the population. Healthy community means healthy country. The immunization campaign is timely since there are a lot of cases of measles-rubella noted in the country in the past 6 months, with mortalities noted.
Appropriate handling of the vaccine is very important to realize in effort to eradicate Measles-Rubella in the country. The temperature monitoring and appropriate handling of the vaccine carrier is dependent on the health workers; thus, the responsibility of maintaining the potency of the vaccines must be inherent to the health workers. Observation of aseptic technique in the preparation and administration of the vaccine is a must as we aim to break the chain of infection.
III. Issues/ Concerns
The program is timely to eradicate the highly infectious viral disease that can be eliminated through immunization. Some issues emerge among health workers include exhaustion working under the heat of the sun during the door-to-door campaign. The house stickers were lacking that’s the reason in other barangays chalk was used. Some children have sickness like high fever, with chickenpox and other active febrile diseases that made reasons for revisits. Other families were not in home during the first and second visits, other do not want to participate in the immunization inspite of thorough explanation and complete health education and opt to refuse, refusal form was signed by parents/guardians. Other have private pediatrician.
Temperature of the vaccines even with cold dogs is not certain if it falls under 2deg-8deg Celsius as it should be to maintain the live attenuated vaccines. However, responsible use of the vaccine carrier should be the responsibility of the health worker concern and supervisor in charge.
The door-to-door immunization campaign is likely especially to majority of the population with no access or little knowledge regarding Measles-Rubella. Some patients have no immunization since birth and alarmingly, they comprised the depressed sector of the population. If health education is not enough, then strategies to enhance the health-seeking behaviors and full participation of all Filipinos should be strengthened. From there, they will speak the importance of primary health care from their experience, means and understanding.