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Iloilo Marks World Immunization Week With Vax, Cervical Cancer Check

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Iloilo Marks World Immunization Week With Vax, Cervical Cancer Check

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The Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DH WV CHD) kicked off the observance of the World Immunization Week (WIW) by bringing services for children, women, and elderly to residents of the municipality of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo on Tuesday.

“World Immunization Week 2024 aims to highlight the collective action needed to protect children, adults, and their communities from vaccine-preventable diseases, allowing them to live happier and healthier lives,” Health Education Promotion Officer III Ana Margarette P. Navarro said.

With the help of private partners, the event brought services, including routine and catch-up immunization for infants 0-12 months, pneumococcal vaccination for senior citizens, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for girls 9-14 years old, cervical cancer screening, and dental services, among others.

Tricia Mae Cordero, Nurse V under the National Immunization Program (NIP) said these vaccines are also available in rural health and barangay health centers.

“Currently, we have an ongoing catch-up immunization for our routine immunization,” she said.

She added that the WIW observance is one way of advocating for the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

Among those who availed of services are in-laws Dyan Solatorio and Emily Solatorio, who brought their one-and-a-half-month-old and five-month-old babies, respectively, to the municipal gymnasium for their routine immunization.

The two said they wanted their children immunized to prevent diseases and become healthier.

Julia Padrita, 79 years old, accompanied her husband, 80 years old Reynaldo availed of the pneumococcal vaccine.

She said she prioritized her husband as much as she wanted to avail of the vaccine because they are only allowed two slots per barangay. The other slot was availed by her sister-in-law.

“Our body needs this to protect us from getting sick with pneumonia,” she said.

As part of cancer prevention, DOH made available the visual inspection using acetic acid, while the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) offers free pap smears as part of cervical cancer screening.

FPOP also offered screening for human immunodeficiency virus, conducted family planning lectures, and provided free contraceptives.

Iloilo Provincial Health Office chief Dr. Maria Socorro Quiñon also expressed the support of the provincial government for the immunization program. (PNA)