Regional authorities 7 recognized that the measles immunization program in the four provinces of Cebu, Siquijor, Bohol and Negros Oriental hit a hit due to the Dengvaxia vaccine dispute in Manila that created a false phobia among mothers in rural areas.
The Health Department noted: NO VACCINE DANUBAX arrived at Negros Oriental and the other Visayas provinces, so there would be no dangerous impact on our region.
This false phobia has escalated so much that even measles vaccination sequences are adversely affected and reduced by public vaccination refusal.
"We have a big problem with our immunization program because of the Dengvaxia conflict last year so we need media support to inform our population about the dissemination of information that the measles vaccine is safe, and effective for more than three decades without having any serious adverse effects, "says Dr. Socrates Villaram of the provincial unit DOH at a press conference.
The police officer of Asst Province, Dr. Liland Estaccion, also revealed that since the last trimester of 2017 there has been an increased number of measles cases in Negros Oriental, DOH is conducting complementary immunization (SIA) or Ligtas Tigdas Plus throughout the region and the whole country on the issue since 22 October until 23 November of this month.
The measles or "tipdas" in the local language is an extremely infectious disease that can infect 18 to 20 other people in one day only by one person.
The target population for measles vaccination activity is children aged 6 months to 59 months and another dose for oral polio vaccine for children aged 0 to one year to combat the spread of the virus.
The Assistant District Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion reported that since November 3, 2018, the province has 169 total numbers of measles cases registered with zero deaths, compared with only 12 cases of the same period last year or an increase of 1.308% one year to 44 years.
At the top of the list is Dumaguete City with 47 cases of measles, followed by Bacong with 28 cases, Sibulan 18, Bayawan 11, Siaton 10, Sta. Catalina 6, Ayungon and Tanjay City with 5 cases each, Bais City, Mabinay, Pamplona, San José and Tayyan with 4 cases each, Amlan, Dauin, LaLibertad 3 cases, Jimalalud, Valencia and Vallehermoso 2, Manjuyod and Zamboanguita with one measles case each.
Under the DOH parameters, even with only one confirmed case of measles, a measles burst is reported.
A low turnout was recorded in the number of children vaccinated with measles at the end of last year due to the conflict and perhaps because the immunization was selective only for those who were vaccinated, Estacion.
In one case, out of 90 targeted children in a public school at Negros Oriental, only one parent signed his consent to his child to receive a measles vaccine. The same happens with other schools during the immunization program.
In Siquijor province, the provincial health official, Daisy Boac, reported a total of 47 cases of measles from January to October of this year. He said complementary immunization was carried out on October 22 this year to date in 12 baragnays in the municipality of Siquijor and in a barangay in the city of Maria.
For Dumaguete, responsible for City Health Dr Ma. Sarah Talla reported 47 cases of measles in the city, only 30 confirmed, the youngest victim is five months old and the oldest at the age of 39 months and 19 adults.
An immunization activity is carried out on 16 town barracks where measles cases prevail, and thus 1,065 children or about 11.2% of the target population have been immunized.
Jeanette Pauline Cortes, Director of DOH, further explained that vaccines against measles and polio used in the country are the same vaccines used in other countries around the world from the 1970s to the present for almost four decades , and safe without reports of complications.
He added that even when the Philippines is declared polio-free since 2000, the risk persists because other countries are not, and so the danger is immense and the only way to prevent it is immunization.
Dr. Cortes reveals that infection alone can be cured but when it complicates it will lead to death due to pneumonia, brain and ear infection and the only way to protect it is through immunization.
She urges mothers to protect their children from measles and poliomyelitis by bringing them to stable areas for immunization in their respective areas because a case can infect 18-20 people a day. If nothing is done, it will be a worse scenario in front of us.jrg