MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Sept. 11 (PIA) -- No stones left unturned, all bases covered.

This, in a nutshell, was the overriding goal as health authorities in this province embark on a month-long immunization campaign to protect children five years old and below of preventable measles and polio diseases.

In real terms, this involved reaching out to 44,870 pre-school boys and girls, with a rapid coverage assessment (RCA) for 72 areas all over the province considered high-risk of contaminating the disease, said Noel Lumen, Provincial Health Officer.

The stated figures, however, did not include those coming from this city, Lumen said during the Action Center Kapihan sa PIA Cable TV program Wednesday.

The Department of Health (DOH) has marked the entire month of September for the measles and polio immunization of children below five years old nationwide, beginning September 1, where President Benigno S. Aquino III led the launching ceremony.

The President had called on local government units (LGUs) to help make sure the health program can reach their intended targets, even persuading parents to cooperate and bring their concerned children to vaccination posts in the Rural Health Units.

Lumen echoed a similar message, saying that aside from health units in the field, a particular vaccination post will also be established in the sitios and puroks to cater to remote areas where neighborhood dwellings are sparse and far between.

Health personnel going to the field were also advised to coordinate first with the Mayor as a courtesy call and with the Punong Barangays so someone can accompany their rounds, particularly in areas marked for fast assessment, Lumen said.

These included resettlement sites, crowded places in urban centers, and those ranked as prone to natural disasters.

Measles often manifest as fever when its virus, spread through the air, can enter a weak or poorly immunized body, resulting in complications like pneumonia, blindness, and even death.

Lumen also advised parents whose kids had completed the vaccination requirements to still bring such kids for this round, saying there is no overdose for immunization. (vrc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)