The Dengvaxia controversy in the country has reportedly “affected” some 830,000 schoolchildren. That of course involved people’s money to the tune of P3.5 billion.
We are lucky enough that the Bicol region was spared from its troubles as no Dengvaxia vaccines were distributed to children here. Understandably, there was no dengue epidemic in our region that time.
The Sorsogon Provincial Health Office (SPHO) and the Department of Education were instead awarded by the Department of Health (DOH) as “best implementers” of school-based immunization programs. The SPHO was also a hall of famer in terms of best health practices.
Here’s the rub: What if dengue was a serious problem during Dengvaxia’s procurement and planned distribution? Health, education, as well as local government officials would naturally have consented to the use of those deleterious vials, too!
In such a case, I wouldn’t blame them. No one should blame them; when an emergency arises, or when a situation is a “matter of life and death,” people whose conviction on the curative value of medicine (many people concede even if it is prescribed by a quack doctor) will always act in accordance to their “faith,” more so if it’s part of their mandate. Worth stressing is the fact that parental waivers were obtained prior to inoculations.
Revisiting how our government effectively educates people and eliminates dengue prior to or following an outbreak must be given premium — EDUCATING, NOT KILLING PEOPLE must be the shot!
Learn from the experience of Sorsogon so as to parry the infectious Dengvaxia and still garner DOH awards amid the said issue.
Look, if we can fire the shots to kill drug personalities, or terrorists, why can’t we target the virus-carrying mosquitoes — so that people will survive, and no Dengvaxia would be prescribed.
JOEY L. GOIS, Sorsogon, Bicol