Nurses under the Department of Health’s Nurses Deployment Project (NDP) played a major role in boosting governments’ anti-measles mass immunization campaign in the regions.
In a statement on Saturday, DOH Calabarzon regional director Eduardo Janairo said nurses were deployed in all the municipalities of their region starting March 1.
“These NDPs will provide boosts to the on-going vaccination campaign as they will serve as additional manpower and vaccinator that will render house-to-house vaccination in remote and hard to reach areas of the provinces,” he said.
NDP is one of the programs under the DOH Human Resource, which annually hires and deploys nurses, doctors, dentists, midwives, medical technologists, pharmacists and other allied health workers to geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) and other poor communities in the country to augment the shortage of health workers in these areas.
Janairo added the DOH regional office has deployed 52 NDP nurses in Antipolo City which recorded the highest number of measles cases at 856 as of March 7, 2019.
According to the Antipolo City Health Office, the city government also hired additional 25 nurses to assists in the campaign aside from their regular staff and barangay health workers (BHWs) deployed in various barangays.
There are 229 NDP nurses employed in Calabarzon — Cavite has 31; Laguna with 31; Batangas with 20; Rizal has 136; and, Quezon, 11.
Meanwhile, the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit reported a total of 4,673 cases from January to March 7, 2019.
From this figure, there are now a total of 179 confirmed measles cases while deaths have also been recorded, 14 of these were vaccinated, 81 are not vaccinated and six have unknown vaccination status.
Janairo said there is already a downward trend in the number of measles cases despite reports of new cases.
He attributed the decrease to the continued efforts of public and private health workers in conducting the mass immunization.
“We have been receiving positive responses from various vaccination teams especially those doing the house-to-house visits, sinasalubong na sila at dala na ang kanilang mga anak na pababakunahan (parents are already the ones bringing their children to health workers to be vaccinated against measles),” he said.
While some parents are still doubtful about vaccines, Janairo said most parents are scared that their children may die of measles.
“Malaking tulong din ang ating mga NDPs dahil mas marami ang magbabahay-bahay, magbabakuna at magbibigay ng tamang impormasyon sa mga magulang tungkol sa tigdas (Our NDP nurses are also a big help because more [health workers] are able to do house visits, conduct vaccination and provide the correct information about measles),” he added. (By Ma. Teresa Montemayor, PNA)