DOH URGES RIZAL LGUS TO RESOLVE MEASLES CRISIS
Department of Health (DOH) Calabarzon regional director Eduardo Janairo shows Health Secretary Francisco Duque III the maps of municipalities with high number of measles cases in Rizal Province during the Emergency Command Conference on Measles at the Sulo Riviera Hotel, Quezon City on March 18, 2019. (Photo courtesy of DOH Calabarzon)
MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) has called on the local governments units (LGUs) of Rizal to resolve the measles crisis in the province through a sustainable plan.
“We need to have a successful immunization plan because this is the most effective way against fatal-vaccine preventable diseases. Kailangan nating magkaisa, magsama-sama at intindihin natin kung ano po ang kahulugan ng pagtutuloy ng ating mga (We need to be united, to be one and understand the reason of our continuous) outbreaks and measles cases,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), Rizal had 2,737 measles cases with 121 deaths from January 1 to March 19, 2019. This figure is 7,503 percent higher compared to the same period last year with 13 measles cases and six recorded deaths.
The RESU added that Antipolo City has the highest number of cases in the province at 1,007 and 32 deaths. It is followed by the municipalities of Rodriguez with 308 cases and seven deaths; Cainta with 264 cases and seven deaths; Taytay with 260 cases and six deaths; San Mateo with 248 and seven deaths; Binangonan with 188 and three deaths; Angono with 93 and four deaths; Baras with 91 and two deaths; Tanay with 86 and five deaths; Pililla with 29 and two deaths; Teresa with 30 and no death; Cardona with 26 and two deaths; Morong with 23 and two deaths; and Jala-Jala with five and no death.
“We have the capability, we have the manpower, the funds and logistics, there should be no excuse. We need to collectively ensure and commit to bring back herd immunity to 95 percent. Let’s be 10 steps ahead para sa ganun ay hindi kumalat ang mga (so as to prevent the spread of) vaccine-preventable diseases,” Duque said.
On Monday, the DOH 4-A (Calabarzon) gathered Rizal’s local government officials for an emergency command conference on measles with Duque.
DOH 4-A Regional Director Eduardo Janairo reported that the target number of children for Measles-Rubella Supplemental Immunization Activity is 348,076 and there are 124,491 more children aged six to 59 months old more for vaccination.
Of the target number to be vaccinated, Janairo said 333,581 children have been immunized during the activity.
“We have augmented manpower in areas where there are high number of measles cases by deploying additional vaccinators to assist in the house-to-house immunization and manage additional fixed vaccination posts in the communities,” he said.
Despite the downtrend of measles cases nationwide, Janairo said their agency continues to appeal to the private schools, the Muslim community in Cainta and other religious organizations to have their children vaccinated.
“I again call on the parents of children to bring their unimmunized child to the nearest health center to avail of the free anti-measles vaccine. It is the only way to protect your children and prevent the spread of the virus,” he said. (PNA)