Health Dept declares measles outbreak in Zamboanga City

Health Dept declares measles outbreak in Zamboanga City

Everybody is so fixated in the Dengvaxia hearings in the House of Representatives that our countrymen down south is in dire need of help.

The Department of Health (DOH) through Secretary Francisco Duque III has declared a measles outbreak in Zamboanga city. The Health secretary is appealing to the public to help and support the beleaguered immunization programs.

The scandal brought about by the deaths of more than twenty children allegedly connected with the vaccination of the anti-dengue miracle vaccine Dengvaxia, has made a bad image for the Health department that Filipinos are already either scared or has totally lost confidence in all the  immunization programs of the government.  *
Measles outbreak in Zamboanga, DOH urges parents to have their children vaccinated( photo credit to SmartParenting)

DOH secretary Francisco Duque III is very steadfast that his department is “resolute in its desire to win back the trust and confidence of the public on vaccination” following the Dengvaxia vaccine scandal.

“Although some sectors may attribute the outbreak to the Dengvaxia issue, it is actually the result of low measles vaccine coverage in the past years which led to the accumulation of susceptible individuals,” Secretary Duque said.

Data gathered by the Health department shows that measles cases began to increase in Zamboanga City in August last year, and that 166 measles cases have been reported for 2018 so far.

A death of a six-month old baby last February 6 has been documented and presented presented signs and symptoms of measles such as fever, rash, cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, malaise, and dyspnea.

The Health department said in a statement that their record shows that there was a low measles vaccine coverage in Zambonaga city, with the last supplemental immunization conducted in 2014.

The DOH increased the coverage in the affected areas, a selective catch-up immunization was conducted in the last quarter of 2017.

The Health department said it conducted an outbreak immunization response last February 12.

Vaccination is still the best  protection  

Secretary Duque has already instructed all medical professionals to addressed the problem and has told all the hospitals to strictly implement infection control mechanisms to prevent the spread of the disease in health facilities.  *

“Let me reiterate that vaccination is still the best protection against this particular disease,” Duque said, adding that children should receive complete doses of the vaccine against measles.

The vaccine for measles are given in two doses, the first will be upon reaching nine months of age, and the second and last one will be when the child reaches 12 months of age.

 “Let us not lose sight of the benefits that other vaccines have provided to us. These have been proven to be very effective in preventing diseases as we have seen in the past,” Duque said.
Report from PDI

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