From the 1st to the 20th of December, teams will go from house to house in neighborhoods with an epidemiological risk of measles – Edu Kapps/City Hall of Rio
Mapping, vaccinating, preventing: this is the tripod on which the measles vaccine screening is based, a strategy being adopted by the Municipal Health Secretariat (SMS) of Rio, following guidance from the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), to increase vaccination coverage against the disease in the capital and contain possible outbreaks. From December 1st to December 20th, SMS Primary Care and Health Surveillance teams will go from house to house in neighborhoods with epidemiological risk of measles to check the vaccination status of 16,000 children who may be unprotected against the virus.
– We want to wipe out the risk of measles in the municipality of Rio and, for that, we think of strategies and apply all possible resources. The measles vaccine is constantly available at health posts and, this year, we have already promoted the vaccination booklet update campaign. Now we are going to knock from door to door to ensure that children in Rio are immunized – reinforced the municipal secretary of Health, Daniel Soranz.
Health agents are visiting the neighborhoods of Santo Cristo, Manguinhos, Rio das Pedras, Recreio and Bangu looking for children between six months and 4 years of age who have not yet taken doses of the triple viral vaccine (vaccine that prevents measles, mumps and rubella ) recommended for each age group. This active search work, which will run until December 20, takes place from 8 am to 5 pm.
– When we identify an unprotected child, he can receive the dose in his own home, with the team that is carrying out the visit. The goal is precisely to facilitate access to immunization. For this reason, we ask for the cooperation of the Carioca population in these locations to receive our agents, present their children’s vaccination records and, thus, move towards a measles-free Rio – ratified Soranz.
The main target audience for the scan is children from six months to 4 years old, but the teams are also inspecting the books of children and teenagers up to 14 years old to guide parents about updating. In addition, the sweep is also conducted by the Health Surveillance Division (DVS) team in the area to monitor the epidemiological scenario of the territory and identify possible cases of measles.
– We tried to find out how many people lived in each house visited and if any of them had measles symptoms, such as fever, cough, runny nose and spots on the skin recently. If so, the DVS team opens an epidemiological investigation to continue monitoring the case – explained Michele Faria, a nurse from the Health Surveillance Division in the Centro region.
The triple viral vaccine schedule consists of doses at six, at 12 and between 15 months and 4 years of age, the first being offered as an additional dose. In case of doubt, parents are advised to look for their Primary Care unit (family clinics and municipal health centers) of reference, taking the child’s vaccination booklet. The coordinator of the SMS Immunization Program, Nadja Greffe, asks for the support and contribution of the population in this important action.
– We have the Family Health teams going through the territories, looking for every house, every child that has not yet been vaccinated. We ask for the collaboration of the entire population to receive our teams, because vaccination is an important way of protecting children and of sweeping measles from our city.