Wednesday 20 March 2019
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reliefweb - 26 days ago

Philippines: Inter-agency approach to curb increasing measles cases in Region 1

Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines
By Joanna D. Sabado and Claire B. Osoteo SAN FERNANDO CITY, Feb. 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) Region 1 has recorded a total of 309 measles cases and 11 deaths as of Feb. 16. Pangasinan registered the most with 257 cases while La Union has 28; Ilocos Sur with 14; and Ilocos Norte at 10. “A total of 189 from the 309 cases said the patients were unvaccinated while 74 cases were babies below six months who are not yet eligible for vaccination,” Dr. Valeriano Lopez, regional director of the DOH-1, said during the Measles Outbreak Response Cluster meeting on Feb.19. The response cluster of the Regional Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council-1, convened by the DOH-1, aimed to draw the commitment of the concerned agencies on the prevention and control of measles in the region. Since Feb. 16, the DOH-1 has already activated their Incident Command System for the Measles Outbreak. It is being chaired by Dr. Valeriano. The Department of the Interior and Local Government-1 committed to reiterate directive to local government units to support rural health centers in accommodating walk-in clients for vaccination until 7 p.m. and extend vaccination even on Saturdays and Sundays. Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development-1 will urge day care workers to enjoin parents and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries to get their children vaccinated. Massive advocacy, education, and information dissemination on measles vaccination is also being undertaken in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency and the media. In an advisory issued by the DOH on Feb.14, all children aged six months to 59 months and kindergarten to Grade 6 pupils are given priority in the vaccination of measles-containing vaccine, including those unvaccinated. The DOH-1 has projected 72,974 unvaccinated children for 2019 who are considered at risk to measles infection. Dr. Valeriano also said the oral polio vaccine for 0 to 59 months old will be provided during the campaign to ensure that polio-endemic and those at risk for importation and spread countries like the Philippines are protected. (JNPD/JDS/CBO- intern/ PIA-LA Union)


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