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PARENTS AND GUARDIANS of students in all public schools from Kindergarten to Grade 7 were urged to have their children immunized against measles and Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and it remains an important cause of death among young children globally. There are many strains of the measles virus, and symptoms can vary. While the HPV is a viral infection that’s passed between people through skin-to-skin contact.

There are over 100 varieties of HPV, more than 40 of which are passed through sexual contact and can affect your genitals, mouth or throat, according to medical information.

Because of these diseases, the City Health office and the Department of Education launched school-based immunization as part of the government program called “Oplan Kalusugan sa Department of Education” (OK sa DepEd).

OK sa DepEd is a convergence of health programs, plans, policies, and activities for effective and efficient implementation at the school level, in partnership with various stakeholders, including local governments.

Mayor Beng Climaco is highly supportive of the efforts and ordered the City Health Office to partner and assist with DepEd in the implementation of the program.

And City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite said they will start the school-based immunization and visit different schools to reach out to all students with the ultimate goal of preventing morbidity or mortality in children.

She said vaccines are provided to children as protection against contagious diseases such as polio, measles, diphtheria and tetanus.

The local government, through the CHO and the City Nutrition Committee, also spearheaded the launching of Nutrition Month at CityMall in Barangay Tetuan. The program – with the slogan “Kumain Nang Wasto At Maging Aktibo, Push Natin To! – was highlighted by a jingle and choreography contest among high schools here with Zamboanga City High School-Main winning the First Place and Ayala National High School being 2nd Placer, and Arena Blanco National High School as 3rd Placer.

Miravite also reminded residents to keep their surroundings clean to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in stagnant water. She said they are intensifying efforts to rid breeding places of mosquitoes, especially the species that carry the Dengue virus.

She said over a dozen fatal cases have been reported since January. Miravite said they have recorded 672 cases in May and 704 in June as compared to only 131 cases for May and 171 for June last year. Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by female mosquitoes mainly of the species Aedes aegypti and, to a lesser extent, Aedes albopictus. This mosquito also transmits chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika infection. (Zamboanga Post)


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