Press Release/13 February 2019
Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III called for a coordination meeting with several government agencies in response to the measles outbreak in several regions in the country.
“The Department of Health is working side by side with other government agencies in quickly responding to mitigate the Measles outbreak. This government is conducting a massive information dissemination and immunization campaign to encourage Filipinos to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your community”, Secretary Duque said.
The health chief revealed that vaccination activities will be done in schools and communities until March, and expects that cases will start to decrease by that time as the number of susceptibles will have already been vaccinated come March. Adults who want to be vaccinated against measles can go to any health center.
To address the measles outbreak in the country, a measles fast lane in all DOH hospitals will be established, a checklist for LGUs and consent forms will be developed and coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will be initiated to inform LGUs of their targets. The DILG will request the LGUs to extend their immunization schedules beyond regular working hours and possibly even on Saturday and Sunday.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development will involve the day care workers for the vaccination of their pupils and enjoin 4Ps beneficiaries who are also parents to ensure their child is vaccinated, while the Department of Education will gather data on how many school children were affected with measles, coordinate with the health center for absent pupils and do follow-up on school children opting to be vaccinated by a private practitioner.
The Department of Transportation, on the other hand, will assist in distributing vaccines and other logistics needed, especially in times of emergencies, while the Armed Forces of the Philippines will deploy medical personnel in geographically isolated depressed areas or in conflict areas, monitor cases in military treatment facilities and ensure the safety of health workers.
The Philippine Information Agency will continue to advocate and promote awareness and will ensure that messages crafted in the local vernacular will reach every barangay.
“The DOH is grateful for all the support of several government agencies, partners and stakeholders. We stand ready to help our fellow Filipinos and together, we will fight this disease”, Secretary Duque concluded.