The proposed “Mandatory Infant and Children Health Immunization Act of 2011” by the Department of Health (DoH), co-authored by Senator Loren Legarda, aims to reduce the number of illness-related neonatal deaths. It also aims to improve health care for babies and children.
This provision will allow babies and children up to five years old to receive free immunizations from government hospitals and health centers for the following diseases and others still to be determined: • H. influenza type B (HIB) • Rubella • Measles • Pertussis • Diphtheria • German measles • Mumps • Poliomyelitis • Tetanus • Tuberculosis
Free Hepatitis B immunizations will also be given to infants within 24 hours after birth.
Based on 2008 statistics, only 79.2 percent of children 1 year-old and below have received immunization against measles, which is below the targeted 100 percent of the Millenium Development Goal for 2015. It was released in a statement that P600 million was set aside by the said agency for the vaccination of 18 million children in the Philippines.
Said Dr. Enrique Ona, DoH secretary, “It costs only P67 to protect a child from measles and rubella using the combined measles-rubella vaccine and that means a lot to save a child from death from preventable diseases,”
Legarda added, “Immunization goes beyond simply protecting the individual. More important, it aims to improve the health of entire communities by limiting the spread of infectious disease among children and adults”.
Sources: • July 12, 2011. Anna Valmero. “Proposed immunization law eyed to drastically cut child deaths,” Ph.News.Yahoo.com • June 19, 2011. Hannah L. Torregoza. “Kids’ immunization to achieve MDGs” mb.com.ph