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DOH CALABARZON records 1645 measles cases and 40 deaths in 45 days

DOH CALABARZON Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo outlines various directives from the Department of Health during the emergency meeting on measles outbreak response to health workers held at the New World Manila Bay Hotel in Malate, Manila on February 14, 2019.

DOH-CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) yesterday conducted another emergency response meeting to address the rapidly increasing measles cases with Provincial Health Officers (PHOs), City Health Officers (CHOs), Municipal Health Officers (MHOs), National Immunization Program (NIP) Coordinators and Provincial Health Team Officers (PHTOs) and Development Management Officers (DMOs) of the region.

Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo outlined the latest directives and key strategies in the on-going mass immunization against measles. “We will be implementing key strategies on measles outbreak response including surveillance, public awareness and education, vaccination and taking care of measles patients in health care facilities,” he stated during his presentation of plans and objectives at the New World Manila Bay Hotel on February 14, 2019.

“Because of the severity and the comprehensive coverage of the measles outbreak DOH will be collaborating with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to involve their Day Care Workers in ensuring that all their pupils will be vaccinated; the Department of Education also to ensure that all school children will get their dose of measles vaccine; the Department of Interior and Local Government to request for the extension of immunization schedules beyond regular hours and implement be able to provide supplemental immunization activity (SIA) from February to March; Department of Transportation to provide transport in times of emergency; the World Health Organization who will be assisting in the development of checklist for LGUs; the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the deployment of medical personnel in GIDA and conflict areas and ensure the safety of personnel; the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Prevention to provide for additional personnel and logistical support; the Philippine Information Agency for the continues advocacy and awareness promotion; and the private partners and societies who will be assisting in the awareness campaign and also to augment vaccination teams ,” Janairo enumerated.

“Everyone’s cooperation and support are essential to be able to successfully prevent the spread and lessen the cases of measles in the country. Even incumbent local officials can help in the dissemination of information by including measles information in their tarpaulins and campaign materials provided it will be properly placed in designated poster areas|.”

“We will be targeting to vaccinate a total of 430,292 children in CALABARZON from a projected population of 15,936,725. In Cavite, we will be aiming to immunize 113,064 eligible children; in Laguna – 90,160; Batangas – 79,839; Rizal – 87,019; and Quezon – 60,210,” he disclosed.

According to the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), Antipolo City in Rizal still holds the highest cases of measles in the region with 441 followed by the City of Binan in Laguna with 126 cases; Municipalities of Rodriguez and Taytay in Rizal with 105 and 95, respectively; and 91 cases in Lipa City, Batangas.

A total of 1,645 measles was recorded with 40 deaths from January 1, 2019 to February 14, 2019 compared to 66 cases and 2 deaths with the same period in 2018.

“With everything in place, we are expecting cases to decrease next month,” Janairo assured.