DOH, DepEd create task force for measles outbreak response in schools
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Education (DepEd) created a task force to address the rising number of measles cases in the country, focused on children who are among the most vulnerable to the disease.
The joint task force seeks to set guidelines for the implementation of outbreak response immunization activities. It will also create coordinating mechanisms in schools to strengthen information dissemination on the immunization response.
Under the task force, the DepEd will be in charge of gathering data on measles cases in schools. The department will also help monitor absent students and facilitate the evaluation of children's vaccination status.
This will be done by categorizing children as either vaccinated, unvaccinated, or "doubtful" of vaccination status. (READ: EXPLAINER: When should one get vaccinated against measles?)
The DOH will be in charge of providing the DepEd with information on measles and measles vaccination in schools. It will also craft guidelines on the declaration of school holidays in areas with outbreaks.
The health department will also advise the DepEd on when students who show symptoms of the disease should refrain from going to school. (READ: FAST FACTS: What is measles and how can it be prevented?)
These efforts are part of the mass immunization campaign being mounted by government agencies, which will run until March.
The DOH is targeting to vaccinate some 12 million people to combat the rising trend in measles cases. Of this number, some 7 million are children from kindergarten to Grade 7. – Rappler.com