Last February 28, 2019, Physician-members of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) from Metro Manila and provinces in Luzon gathered at the PMA Auditorium in Quezon City to participate in a “Forum on Vaccination and its Impact on Public Health”.
Organized by the PMA, Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO), and the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), the forum aims to restore Filipinos’ trust and confidence on vaccine safety and vaccination programs.
PMA invited the country’s leading infectious disease experts as resource speakers during the forum. The said forum supports the efforts of the Department of Health (DOH) to address the measles outbreak in Metro Manila and several regions in Luzon and Visayas.
“We support the Department of Health (DOH) in its campaign to restore public trust and confidence in vaccines and increase the country’ immunization coverage. This timely forum seeks to enhance Filipino doctors’ knowledge on the value, science and safety of vaccination,” said PMA Vice President Dr. Benito P. Atienza.
“No child should die from vaccine-preventable diseases. It is unthinkable for any children to suffer from these diseases that are, in the first place, preventable. We believe that everyone, young and adult, alike should be given the equal chance of being protected from these diseases that threaten to take away their future,” said PFV Executive Director Dr. Lulu Bravo.
“As one of the umbrella organizations of patient groups in the country, PAPO fully supports the multi-stakeholder coalition working to increase the country’s immunization coverage and enhance vaccine confidence among Filipinos. We believe that it is every patient’s right to be protected from these vaccine-preventable diseases,” said PAPO President Ms. Fatima Garcia-Lorenzo.
“Vaccines have saved countless lives and prevent an estimated 2.5 million deaths worldwide each year. PHAP is privileged to support the DOH, PMA, PFV and PAPO in their efforts to restore trust and confidence in vaccination,” said PHAP Executive Director Mr. Teodoro B. Padilla.
In her talk on “Explaining Vaccination to Patients, Families and Health Workers”, Dr. Bravo highlighted the public health importance and socio-economic benefits of vaccination. She provided an overview of vaccine-preventable diseases, and discussed the consequences of non-vaccination, and address potential questions from patients and fellow health workers.
In her lecture on “The Science and Journey of Vaccines”, Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) President Dr. Anna Lisa Ong-Lim discussed how vaccines work to prevent infectious diseases, and the complex vaccine research and development process.
Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian, President of the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS), talked on “Vaccine Safety” to help doctors address patient concerns on possible adverse reactions and how these can be properly managed.
In her talk on “Get Vaccinated”, PFV Immediate Past President Dr. May Montellano she answered questions on who should be vaccinated, when should one be vaccinated, and where to get vaccinated.
At the end of the forum, Dr. Atienza led forum participants in making the PMA Commitment to champion vaccination and for doctors to serve as resource persons in their respective communities.
A vaccination forum for physicians from Visayas and Mindanao will also be held during the PMA Annual Convention and Scientific Meetings in Davao City come May 15, 2019.