PBS supports DOH’s national anti-measles campaign
The Philippine Bible Society (PBS) has committed to support the Department of Health’s Ligtas Tigdas 2004 anti-measles campaign, the third installment in the department’s four-phase program to stamp out the disease by 2008.
PBS, represented by Communications and Development Manager Juliet Jimeno, joined 17 other government agencies in signing a Memoramdum of Agreement with the DoH last Friday, January 9, at the Philamlife Building in Manila. The signing was led by Health Secretary Manuel M. Dayrit and was attended by representatives of various sectors who have pledged to provide assistance to the DoH through campaign promotion and the provision of volunteers and logistics.
The Ligtas Tigdas 2004 campaign will be held from February 2 to 29. Teams from the DoH and other government agencies will conduct door-to-door vaccination in residential areas, schools and daycare centers. Fixed sites, such as hospital and health centers, will also become venues for the operations. The campaign targets some 29 million children, aged 9 months to 7 years. The activity is a follow-up on the 1998 measles campaign initiated by the DoH – the first measles elimination campaign in the Western Pacific Region. According to the health department, measles and its complications used to be one of the top 10 causes of morbidity in the country, affecting approximately 12,000 children aged four years and below every year.
As its contribution to the program, PBS printed 100,000 copies of information leaflets on Ligtas Tigdas 2004. Copies were formally turned over on January 26, 2004 at the DOH Headquarters in Manila.
The catch-up campaign has so far received very high level of political support from the national government and from international groups such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Apart from PBS, the MoA was signed by the Depatments of Education, Culture and Sports; of Social Welfare and Development; of National Defense; of Foreign Affairs; and of Labor and Employment; the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority; the National Tobacco Administration; the National Commission on Indigenous People; the National Economic and Development Authority; the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office; the Development Academy of the Philippines; the Philippine Coconut Authority; the Office of Muslim Affairs; and the Quedan and Rural Credit Corporation.
Ligtas Tigdas is also being supported by 51 other organizations representing such sectors as religious groups; non-government organizations; civic groups; professional groups; business groups; and media. The program is in compliance with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos’s Executive Order 237, directing the conduct of a national Follow-up Measles Campaign in 2004 and designating the DoH as the lead agency.