Results of anti-measles drive in GenSan ‘disappoinging’

Mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. called the results of the “Oplan Alis Tigdas” disappointing and admitted the local government failed to give it adequate attention. He ordered the campaign extended for at least two months.

Acharon said the city was so much focused on its other initiatives like peace and order, education, business and tourism that it failed to properly monitor its delivery of basic health services.

He said he has mobilized the city government's available personnel and other necessary resources in a bid to cover the remaining 12,500 children aged nine months to four years old or 78 percent or of its target beneficiaries within the next two months.

"Our failure to meet the target is a management lapse and I take full responsibility for that," the mayor said.

To help address the situation, Acharon said he has instructed the city health office to recruit additional personnel to augment the 34 volunteers that took part in the campaign, which started on October 15.

He said they will also provide funds for the campaign's two-month extension, especially for the hiring of additional volunteers, mobilization and related operational requirements.

Dr. Virginia Ramirez, city health officer, said her office will provide the program more focus in the next two months to ensure its success.

Ramirez said the city needs to improve its accomplishment rating for the program since it has already pulled down Region 12's overall achievement.

Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato, Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Cotabato, Kidapawan and Tacurong.

"But now that we have the full support of the city government, there's no reason for us to fail again. We'll make sure that we will achieve our target before the extension period ends," Ramirez added.

Oplan Alis Tigdas is a national campaign spearheaded by the Department of Health to eliminate measles in the country.

The campaign aims to vaccinate children aged nine months to four years old from measles. The children were also given Vitamin A and other supplements as part of the government's campaign against malnutrition. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)