MANILA — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) encouraged the local government units (LGUs) to be its proactive partners in the conduct of nationwide immunization campaign to address the measles outbreak.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año made this call through Memorandum Circular 2019-47, enjoining the LGUs to encourage parents to have their children ‘immunized’ under the Department of Health’s (DOH) nationwide immunization campaign.
“The measles outbreak was fueled by a scare which can be corrected through intensive information dissemination. The nationwide immunization campaign is a vehicle for us to reverse the measles outbreak and we turn to our LGUs to be our partners in encouraging parents to have their children immunized,” Año said.
Año said support of the LGUs and active participation of the health workers are crucial to ensure successful conduct and implementation of the immunization program.
He said LGU officials should encourage their constituents to bring all suspected measles cases to the nearest health facility for early treatment and proper case management, among others.
“Let’s not wait for another death. For the longest time, we have measles under control, and we can do it again through the LGUs’ proactive involvement and cooperation of the communities,” he said.
Based on the official data of the DOH, there are almost 23,000 cases of measles as of March 19 this year.
“These numbers are alarming even for our President which is why decisive actions must be instituted before it gets out of hand,” Año said.
He said LGUs may utilize a percentage of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) for expenses relative to the immunization campaign and other actions to address the growing number of measles cases.
The DILG chief said the national government, spearheaded by the DOH with other government agencies such as the DILG, is conducting a massive information dissemination campaign and vaccination in schools and communities and expects LGUs to participate and get involved.
In the same memorandum, LGUs must coordinate with the DOH’s Center for Development Health Regional Office and other agencies to ensure appropriate information dissemination down to the communities; and guarantee that all DOH measles advisories and other information, education, and campaign materials are disseminated to all families and households.
The DILG has also asked the LGUs to extend their immunization schedules beyond regular working hours and possibly even on Saturdays and Sundays to accommodate as many as possible. (PR)