CHO resets immunization drive to Aug. 10, clarifies deworming scare PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 August 2015 10:53

by JASMINE MOHAMMADSALI

The City Health Office (CHO) will be launching a school-based measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), and diphtheria and tetanus (DT) immunization drive for schoolchildren on August 10.

According to City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, the immunization drive was initially set Monday, August 3 but was deferred due to the recent scare caused by the adverse reactions of students to a deworming activity by the Department of Health in several areas in the region.

“Nationally, the launching of this immunization program is today, but in Zamboanga Peninsula, we opted to move it to August 10 because of the most recent deworming concerns of parents last week, particularly in Dipolog,” Agbulos told the local press in the briefing Monday, August 3.

Agbulos clarified that the reported cases in Dipolog and other areas of Zamboanga del Sur were schoolchildren exhibiting side-effects and mild adverse reactions expected after a deworming, which include abdominal pain, vomiting and fever.

In Zamboanga City, some 29 individuals reported abdominal pain after deworming in Sangali (10), Talon-Talon (2), Tugbungan (2), Tumaga (2), Recodo (1), Labuan (1), Sinunuc (1), and Brent Hospital (10). One was admitted but this, Agbulos stressed, was due to an underlying illness of peptic ulcer and not caused by the deworming medication.

All others were treated as an outpatient (OPD) case, he added.

Abdominal pain and cramps are expected as very mild adverse reactions after deworming.

Agbulos believes the panic over the deworming activity began when news of a death caused by the deworming medication circulated in the media, which he debunked.

He noted the deworming activity started as early as June in Zamboanga and the CHO has not received any complaints from children who were given the same medication.

To prevent panic and to allay the fears of parents for the upcoming immunization activity, Agbulos said parents need to physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare their children.

“Tell them there will be pain in the injection site. Physically, dapat busog el maga bata,” advised Agbulos.

Prior to the immunization, the CHO will also be taking detailed histories, particularly on known allergies of children to eggs and other products.

Fever is also expected after immunization, said Agbulos, which can be treated with paracetamol. — Jasmine Mohammadsali