Representatives from the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, the Philippine Pediatric Society and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines reached out to the public in a forum to encourage and stress the importance of vaccinations.
President of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Mario Panaligan noted, “This is the latest numbers covering January 1 to February and there’s a total of 4,321 measles-rubella reports and out of which, there are 4,302 cases. The lab-confirmed measles is 177 while the measles compatible, meaning those upon diagnosis, is 2,135 and those pending evaluation is 1,939.”
He continued by saying that one-third of the cases were children aged one year to four years and more than 25 percent were in children under the age of nine months.
A large number of the cases reported were either unvaccinated or undervaccinated.
Philippine Pediatric Society president Salvacion Gathchalian said, “We educate the mothers about the vaccines their children should get and when they should get it. It’s the same with health centers. Vaccines are always available. I understand there could be communities which are far from health centers so I advise those parents to take advantage of the opportunity to have their children vaccinated while DOH (Department of Health) is doing door-to-door vaccination.”
Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines president, Anna Lisa Ong-Lim added that DOH is trying its best to solve the outbreak and push their vaccination program.
“In a health system, we must understand there’s a pool of susceptibles and these are the ones in far-flung areas, areas with war conflicts, religions keeping them from getting vaccinated. They are the sources of outbreaks and the best solution to this is to reduce the number of people who can cause them,” she said.