Legislators reiterated massive conduct of information and education campaign against measles in the Cagayan de Oro.
This, as the joint committees on health and on education chaired by Councilors Suzette Magtajas-Daba and Maria Lourdes Gaane, respectively, discussed the Department of Health’s (DOH) proposed the implementation of the “No vaccination, no enrollment” policy in all public schools.
During the meeting, Dr. Elen Santua of DOH said the policy is an advocacy about the importance of immunization.
She said it is mandatory as the number of measles cases continues to increase in the country.
The only thing that makes it difficult is the issue of human rights, she cited.
“In physician’s point of view, the virus doesn’t know what human rights are. Everybody will get infected,” she stressed.
Santua clarified that the immunization for measles is done only once.
“When entering grade school at least a pupil should have one shot,” she said.
She informed the committee that the DOH is now waiting for the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) as the legal basis for the implementation of the said policy.
To appease the parents, she explained that before the immunization, their children would undergo proper screening, which will be administered by health personnel.
For his part, Teddy Sabuga-a, acting city administrator, said he is amenable to the policy. However, he said parents should be held accountable since children still need parental guidance. It is the responsibility of the parents to protect their children, he added.
“Why punish our children not to be enrolled in school nga iya manang katungod,” he said.
Suzette, on the other hand, expressed her opposition to the DOH policy, saying that it will deprive children of quality education.
“I think it’s too harsh that we deny education because of this condition…We are putting a barrier nga maka-access sila sa education,” she said.
According to the councilor, some parents do not want their children to get vaccinated due to fear of Dengvaxia.
Suzette is urging officers of Parents-Teachers Associations to also conduct massive education campaign for the awareness of parents. (sp)