Catch-up measles immunization

WHO joined DOH in advocacy meeting with Cavite Provincial Health Office

In May 2012, the WHO joined the DOH in its advocacy meeting with the Provincial Health Office (PHO) in Cavite. The Department of Health (DOH) and the Cavite PHO agreed to adopt the high risk community approach in implementing a catch-up immunization activity following WHO recommendations. This means that the health workers in each municipality in Cavite should review the quality and status of their measles surveillance data, immunity gap against measles, geographic access to the communities and other factors affecting immunization service delivery. After reviewing the data, health workers should determine the highest risk barangays and communities that should be prioritize for the measles catch up immunization. The high risk approach also means actively engaging the community in identifying under-five children who have not completed 2 doses of measles and in reporting individuals with rash and fever illness to the health authorities for complete suspect measles case investigation.

Though, many cases in Cavite belong to the older age group, it is still the under-five children who are most susceptible to infection. Thus, the WHO recommends identifying all under-five children and their measles immunization status through house-to-house active masterlisting of children in this age group. The WHO further recommends vaccinating all under-five children who did not receive at least 2 doses of measles vaccine. Two doses of measles with at least one month interval will provide these children 95% protection against measles infection.

In summary, steps involved in the high risk approach

Step 1 - Identify the high risk communities

Step 2 - Masterlist under immunized children

Step 3 - Vaccinate under immunized children

Step 4 - Update immunization records

Step 5 - Submit accomplishment reports