Vaccinate children against measles — UNICEF urges parents

It did not mention figures where the percentage was derived.

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Aside from isolation rooms, DOH-6 also plans to dedicate a health personnel that would handle measles patients.

Measles cases in the NCR rose by 550 percent from January 1 to February 6, 2019 compared to the same period past year, he added.

In addition to the NCR area, health officials are also closely monitoring the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa (Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Bicol region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Cordillera region, and Caraga for measles.

The most affected region is Calabarzon, which includes the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, with 575 cases, including nine deaths.

Figures from the Philippines' national health authorities show cases jumped from 791 in 2017 to 5,120 a year ago.

Convocar assured parents that the measles vaccine is safe and effective.

In early 2016, the health department, under then President Benigno Aquino, rolled out a 3.5 billion-peso (S$91 million) programme to inoculate a million school-age children with Dengvaxia to protect them against dengue, a mosquito-borne disease that afflicts hundreds of millions of people around the world.

In 2017, French firm Sanofi Pasteur disclosed that the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine posed risks to people, who had not been infected before immunisation.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque told local media that bronchopneumonia from measles complications can be deadly, and encouraged parents to bring their children for immunisation. Duque said outbreak areas should boost preventive measures against the disease.

"Learning from the UNICEF family about the outbreak of the measles, you know, this is why it's very important to have proper immunization", Curtis said during an event by UNICEF.

"I appeal to all parents to have their children vaccinated against measles".

Officials of the the Department of Health in Western Visayas are urging government-run hospitals to dedicate a "measles room".

The Country had recently carried out successfully the largest ever measles vaccination campaign for children across Pakistan.

Its complications include severe diarrhea, pneumonia, blindness and even death, according to the Health department.

Past year under the routine immunization strategy, the coverage reached 54 percent or 113,209 children out of 210,291 target. An opinion poll in November 2018 showed a sharp drop in the trust in vaccines among Filipinos, with only 32 percent of 1,500 surveyed Filipinos trusting vaccines, down from 93 percent in 2015. "Let's have them inoculated before the outbreak of measles worsens", Sen.

In a news conference, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles on Friday said the government might face legal issues in court if it implemented mandatory immunization for children. "They were scared", Panelo said.

The total cases of measles reached 469 in 2018. The two government officials have always been at odds over the Dengvaxia controversy. "As far as she is concerned, she is doing her job of protecting the parents of the [children who] she perceived to be dying by reason of Dengvaxia". The party-list group Anakalusugan supported the call for an intensified campaign to promote vaccination of children.

"Our children are protected so there is no cause for concern", said a statement by the Federal Health Ministry. "They should have already seen the trend past year", the group said.

Vanessa Coleman

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