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Cebu City Hosted the 4th Asian Vaccine Congress 2013

The 4th Asian Vaccine Congress 2013 (ASVAC 2013) of the Immunization Partners in Asia Pacific (IPAP) was hosted by the Philippines at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Cebu City from June 12 to 14.

4th Asian Vaccine Congress 2013 Theme

With the theme, “Chain for Change,” the conference was envisioned to be a gathering of experts, and other immunization stakeholders not only from Asia Pacific but from other parts the world as well.

According to IPAP president Dr. Lulu Bravo, around 500 foreign and local delegates and vaccines stakeholders are expected to attend the conference to share their experience and expertise on immunization.

“This is an important event in the field of vaccination in the region because it gathers vaccine experts who will present evidences for future policies affecting the lives of our people.” says Dr. Bravo.

“Vaccines are one of the greatest health interventions in the 200 years.” she adds. “It is the most cost-effective measure in public health and with political will, it can easily be implemented among the target population.”

4th Asian Vaccine Congress Press Conference Panel
4th Asian Vaccine Congress Press Conference Panel From left to right: Dr. Jonathan Lim (Chairman ASVAC Organizing Committee), Dr. Jacob John (WHO Consultant/Virologist), Dr. Eric Tayag (DOH Secretary), Miss Maricel Castro (WHO Technical Officer), and Dr. Lulu Bravo (President IPAP)

4th Asian Vaccine Congress 2013 Topics

The topics to be discussed during the 4th Asian Vaccine Congress 2013 include:
1. Global Polio Eradication.
2. Effectiveness and Safety of Vaccines.
3. Vaccination in Special Circumstances.
4. New Vaccine Under Development.
5. Control of Influenza.

Since the elimination of smallpox in the late 70’s, vaccination has evolved to cover other preventable diseases.
Currently, it is the primary goal of vaccination programs to eradicate 3 diseases: polio, measles, and rubella.

Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease caused by a virus that spreads from person to person invading the brain and spinal cord and causing paralysis.

At present, only Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan continue to have cases of polio, a disease that can lead to permanent disability, deformity and even death.

Measles, on the other hand, is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus of the paramyxovirus family. The measles virus normally grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and lungs.

Rubella or German measles is an acute illness that presents itself with fever and rash for two to three days. If acquired by a pregnant woman, it can cause birth defects like deafness, cataracts, heart defects, mental retardation and liver and spleen damage.

4th Asian Vaccine Congress
4th Asian Vaccine Congress 2013 was made colorful by Dr. Eric Tayag (DOH Secretary) who accompanied the ASVAC theme with a lively dance.

4th Asian Vaccine Congress 2013 & Nutritional Status of Filipino Children

Based on a national survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) among Filipino children in 2011, the complete immunization coverage among children below four years old reached almost 92 percent.

The survey showed that nine out of 10 infants or 92.4 percent received at least one dose of oral polio vaccine while eight of 10 or 85.3 percent were vaccinated against measles.

The 4th Asian Vaccine Congress 2013 proved to be another meaningful congregation of great minds and great hearts who are working their best to make the world a much healthier place to live.

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