UNICEF and West Papua Provincial Health Office Become Optimistic of Success in Immunization in Papua

goodmorningpapua.com – UNICEF and the West Papua Provincial Health Office held a media breefing in the context of the National Immunization Month (BIAN). The holding of this media breefing aims to maximize and succeed in the national immunization month in May 2022, considering that during the COVID-19 pandemic the complete routine immunization coverage for children is low.

A Head of Disease Prevention and Control at the West Papua Provincial Health Office, dr. Nurmiawati said that around 800,000 children throughout Indonesia are at greater risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, measles, rubella and polio. Based on the latest routine data from the Ministry of Health, the coverage of Complete Basic Immunization (IDL) has decreased significantly since the beginning of the OVID-19 pandemic, from 84.2% in 2020 to 79.6% in 2021.

“In West Papua Province, complete basic immunization coverage has also decreased since the COVID-19 pandemic for the last 2 years, from 84.1% in 2019 to 66.4% in 2020 and 60.4% in 2021. Of course, the decrease in IDL is perilous for KLB [Kejadian Luar Biasa] of diseases that can be prevented by immunization (PD31). For the PD31 case in West Papua, positive cases of measles or rubella are still found almost every year,” said Nurmiawati.

She explained, according to the national measles risk assessment, West Papua is a province with a very high risk. In 2018 and 2019, West Papua also experienced an outbreak of diphtheria where there were deaths due to diphtheria in 2018 and 2019. Apart from measles and diphtheria, according to the national polio risk assessment, West Papua is a province with a high risk.

Nurmiawati said the recent decline in routine immunization coverage was caused by various factors including supply chain disruptions, regulations for restricting community activities or PPKM, and reduced availability of health workers, which led to the cessation of some vaccination services at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She continued, a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF in 2020 also found that half of parents and caregivers surveyed were reluctant to take their children to health facilities for fear of contracting COVID-19 or fear that there were no proper health protocols.

“Currently, the government is trying to recover the coverage lost due to disruption of immunization activities related to COVID-19 by holding the National Child Immunization Month (BIAN) in 2022. In the implementation of BIAN, there are 2 main activities, namely additional immunization by giving one dose of measles rubella immunization given to children aged 9 months to 12 years and the next activity, namely chase immunization by giving one or more types of immunizations to children aged 1-5 years for complete the incomplete immunization status when I was a baby or under 1 year old,” explained Nurmiawati.

BIAN in West Papua will be implemented from May-June 2022 throughout the province of West Papua, with immunization services during BIAN will be provided at Puskesmas, Posyandu, PAUD, TK/RA, and SD/MI. So that, parents and caregivers can bring and ensure their children get immunized. BIAN targets in West Papua, for additional immunization against measles and rubella at the age of 9 months-12 years as many as 231,444 children and chase immunization with a target age of 1-5 years, it is estimated that 24,416 children are in Kab. Manokwari and Sorong City.

The additional measles and rubella immunization activity in the 2022 BIAN is the same as the first measles immunization outside Java-Bali which has achieved 95% coverage. For this reason, it is highly expected that the participation of stakeholders and the community will be successful in implementing the Bian in 2022 and repeating the success of 2018 in order to improve the health status of our children who are protected from the dangers of various deadly infectious diseases.

“The vaccine used in the implementation of this BIAN is a routine immunization vaccine which for many years has been given to children at the time of immunization as a baby. So the vaccines used are safe and have been injected for a long time and have been proven to be able to provide immunity to children in preventing diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, measles, rubella, and polio,” she explained.

Nurmiawati said that in order for the implementation of BIAN, especially immunization to complete immunization for 1-year-old children, parents and caregivers are advised to view or reopen the records of giving their children immunizations through the KIA Book (Mother Child Health), if there are types of immunizations that are not yet complete, or if they are not obtained when they are babies,  immediately visit the Puskesmas or Posyandu so that they can be given immunizations to complement the child’s immunizations.

It should be noted that immunization has been around for around 200 years and has saved more than five lives every minute and prevented up to three million deaths per year. This makes immunization one of the most significant advances in global health and development in the prevention of disease and death in children. Immunization not only protects individuals, but can also form herd immunity. However, this can only be achieved if the immunization achievement in an area is high and evenly distributed.

“For this reason, we really hope for the support of stakeholders, stakeholders and the community to jointly make the implementation of the 2022 BIAN successful and ensure that every child targeted by the BIAN has received immunizations so that children in West Papua become healthier and protected from dangerous diseases. Don’t hesitate to visit the immunization posts that have been provided, such as Puskesmas, Posyandu, PAUD, TK and SD/MI schools,” she concluded.

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