Nograles to DOH: Focus budget on profiling Dengvaxia recipients
The Department of Health (DOH) should prioritize the profiling of Dengvaxia vaccinees rather than allocating a hefty sum of the supplemental budget on medical kits, House appropriations committee Chair Rep. Karlo Nograles said on Wednesday.
At a Congressional briefing, DOH Director Myrna Cabotaje of the disease prevention and control bureau proposed a total of P1.2 billion for the supplemental budget for Dengvaxia vacccinees.
Out of the P1.2 billion budget, P270 million is proposed to be allocated to the distribution of medical kits, which Nograles questioned.
“Ang una kong babatikusin dito yung medical kit…tanggalin na lang natin itong medical kits and let’s focus on profiling muna these children para maging kampante ang mga magulang. I’d scrap that medical kit,” he said.
The medical kit includes one thermometer worth P100, a mosquito repellent worth P150, two bottles of multivitamins worth P40 and a package bag worth P10.
The DOH proposal, which it presented to House members, is broken down into the following programs and activities: P270 million for the distribution of medical kits to Dengvaxia vaccinees, P300 million for the proposed active case finding (project based profiling/ navigation of vaccinees), P84 million for the medical assistance program for Dengvaxia patients, P776 million for the outpatient care package, and P67 million for the deployment of nurse – health education and promotion officers (HEPOs).
Mothers of children given the vaccine agreed with Nograles.
“Hindi po totally matutuwa (sa medical kit). Isa lang yun sa kailangan pero hindi yun ang pinaka-kailangan. Hindi rin mabibili ang gamot dahil walang pera. Kailangan may medicine din na kasama hindi po sapat yung vitamins lang,” said Sumachen Dominguez, president of the group Samahan ng mga Magulang ng na-Dengvaxia.
“Ang sabi namin dapat mag house to house sila dahil nung nag-vaccine sila nag house to house sila dapat pumunta rin sa mga barangay,” she added.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said they have allocated the budget for the medical kits after consulting with parents of children given the anti-dengue vaccine.
“The reason why we included it ito po ay pakiusap ng mga magulang sa aming pakikipanayam sa kanila,” he said.Nograles stressed that the DOH should concentrate on completing the profiling of the vaccinees first in order to pinpoint the seronegative patients. He said these patients should be be “saved” and prioritized as far as state-sponsored medical treatment goes.
“I’d rather deploy more doctors and nurses. I’d rather train more BHWs (barangay health workers) and teachers if these are school-based (vaccinees) in order for them to actively and successfully profile at magbantay sa mga bata,” Nograles said. /muf