LEGAZPI CITY (09-Oct-2012/PNA) – Rotavirus a leading cause of diarrhea continued the second killer of infants in the country prompting health authorities to include rotavirus vaccination as part of the Department of Health (DOH) Expanded Program of Immunization(EPI).
DOH records showed that at least 13 children under five years old die every day due to diarrhea, while every minute, 1 child dies of diarrhea worldwide.
This accounted to at least 12 percent of deaths among children under five in the country.
Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of ROTAPHIL, a leading anti-Rotavirus advocacy group, said at a media launch over the weekend that a public-private partnership with the DOH was initiated to curb the rising incident of the disease.
Bravo said the DOH has confirmed that the Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia to include a Rotavirus vaccination program in the EPI.
The program aims to vaccinate 700,000 newborns from the 5.2 million families identified as “poorest of the poor” by the Department of social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under its National Household Targeting System (NHTS).
The DOH has earmarked P600 million for the procurement of vaccines.
The DOH and Rotaphil is looking forward for further partnership with various provincial, city and municipal health officers across Bicol to support the public information drive.
Bravo believed that with the cooperation of health workers and the public the campaign would move towards a zero death due to rotavirus.
Rotavirus vaccination was in line with the administration’s aim to attain the Millennium Development Goal 4 of reduced infant mortality rate.(PNA)