In a press briefing held at DOH office in Manila, Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said the move would enhance the monitoring of children in schools and communities in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), and Cebu – the areas covered by the department’s dengue immunization program.
Domingo said Health Secretary Francisco Duque has already approved the initial deployment of 150 nurses in these areas, while the remaining 350 will be deployed once budget becomes available.
“But for the (hiring and deployment of) 350 nurses, we will still await the go signal from Congress,” he said, noting that they are requesting legislators to allow them to use a portion of the refund for the unused Dengvaxia vaccine for the nurse deployment and monitoring program.
Earlier, Duque had repeatedly requested lawmakers to allow the DOH to use the refunded amount to address the healthcare needs of the families of Dengvaxia recipients.
To date, the department has spent more than PHP22 million in medical assistance to Dengvaxia recipients who have fallen ill and have been admitted to hospitals. The money was also used to provide outpatient services and Dengvaxia kits, among others. (PNA)