With the provincial launching of the mass immunization campaign dubbed as “Oplan Culex”, the PHO and DOH target to vaccinate a total of 21,000 children from five months up to 59 months old in the entire province within the this month and March.
Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a serious and disabling disease that can be fatal if not managed immediately. The virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito called the culex .It is characterized by a dengue-like illness with the symptoms of headache, fever, vomiting and muscle pains. It infects the brain that causes inflammation and swelling including long-lasting brain damage leading to disabilities among survivors.
In an interview with Abra Provincial Health Officer Maria Cristina V. Cabrera, she assured that the JE vaccine is safe as it was pre-qualified by the World Health Organization and the DOH. It has successfully met the quality, safety, and efficiency standards for the target population. Moreover, the JE vaccine has been widely used for over ten years to around 300 million recipients throughout Asia without safety concerns identified, she stressed.
With three confirmed cases in the province from 2017, Cabrera urged all parents to submit their children to the free vaccination as a preventive measure against the disease.
Aside from the vaccination, PHO has started an information-education campaign on JE to raise awareness among the public regarding this emerging disease
While everyone is advised to get a free vaccination on JE, the public is reminded to include the basic strategies in the prevention and control of mosquitoes such as the elimination of their breeding sites through spraying, fogging, misting with insecticides and employing search and destroy activities. (JDP/MTBB/CAGT – PIA CAR, Abra)
By Christian Allister G. Tubadeza