As infections get serious, are we getting the vaccines?By Charles E. Buban
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Influenza, pneumonia, hepatitis B and those that cause severe diarrheal diseases are just some of the health problems that continue to kill a significant number of adults and children in the developing world, which includes the Philippines.
They die because they are impoverished—their diet lacks sufficient vitamins and other essential micronutrients. They mostly live in areas where disease-causing organisms thrive and have no access to routine immunization or health services.
But even if they do have access to public health services, they still avoid receiving the vaccines because they are misinformed about the safety of such vaccines.
“Doctors and the rest of the healthcare workers must convey to patients the importance of vaccination and how vaccination can prevent potentially fatal diseases,” said Philippine Foundation for Vaccination president Dr. May Montellano during the recent launch of Bakunadong Pinoy, an immunization support program. “Technological advances have made modern vaccines purer and safer than their historical counterparts so there is no reason not to strengthen and expand routine immunization services,” she added.
Montellano believes that a public-private partnership that is dedicated to increasing access to vaccines is essential.
Bakunadong Pinoy, launched through a summit organized by the PFV in partnership with Sanofi Pasteur, provides a venue for healthcare practitioners to imbibe the importance of their role as advocates on the value of vaccination through scientific sessions on current vaccine trends such as the clinical development of the dengue vaccine and other interactive activities.
“Bakunadong Pinoy is founded on three pillars of execution—accessibility, advocacy, and advancemen—that aims to improve communication between doctors and patients,” explained Sanofi Pasteur country manager Ching Santos.
For the individual and for the community, she said prevention is better and more cost-effective than cure.
Santos said: “No one should die of a vaccine-preventable disease. The importance of the vision lies on the fact that lives are at stake here. Bakunadong Pinoy will only succeed with the help of the entire immunization community. We recognize the importance of the contribution of each one to this endeavor. It is in this light that the program encourages involvement.”
Montellano added that efforts of the foundation to reach its goal were reflected by the numerous projects that were implemented since 2000. “Bakunadong Pinoy is but the first step in a journey toward the realization of our vision. Every Filipino vaccinated assures that one more life has been saved or protected. Every Filipino vaccinated contributes to overall public health. Every Filipino vaccinated ensures that we are doing our part.”
Source of transmission
Authorities identified unvaccinated adults as one of the major sources of transmission of several diseases to children who are too young to be immunized against the disease and the only way to protect these children is to vaccinate adults.
Since the discovery of modern vaccination over 200 years ago, vaccines have proved to be one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions.
Aside from clean, safe drinking water, immunization has been found to be an effective method in reducing mortality rates. It resulted in the global eradication of smallpox and regional elimination of polio and measles.
Santos shared that Bakunadong Pinoy would aim to make vaccines more accessible to the less fortunate. “But first, we need to convince them that like eating the right food, exercising and getting regular screenings for diseases, vaccines can also play a vital role in keeping them healthy.”
Montellano further added that getting sick has a direct impact on individuals and it caries a price tag. “Just compute the medical costs incurred and the work days lost. Looking at influenza as an example, makes it easy to see why these illnesses are so expensive: the illness could last up to 15 days and restricts activity for five to six days, including three or four days of bed rest.”
In last week’s article on Stesso (www.stesso.com.ph), one of the body renewal specialist’s offerings is the LaMezzo, which employs electric pulses to specifically target body tissues. This eliminates unwanted facial and body fats (cellulites) as well as tighten the skin. Kindly contact 376-9000 or (0917)578-3776 for further inquiries regarding Stesso’s products and services.
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=86926