DOH: Immunized 6 months old babies against measles
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - As measles cases have alarmed health officials, a six-month-old instead of nine-month-old infant can now be immunized against the highly contagious disease named measles.

This after the Department of Health reported that the youngest victim starting January 1 was a two-month-old while the rest were 21 years old and above.

Dr. Maria Socorro Entera, chief of DOH-7 Maternal and Child Health, said that there are 61 cases that have been confirmed in a laboratory test at their head office.

Last year, Entera said there were 147 suspected measles cases but only six were confirmed.

“A child with measles is a very sick child. So, parents and caregiver should immediately bring their children to the nearest hospital or barangay health center,” said Dr. Cynthia Genesolango, chief of the Cebu Provincial Health Office during the AGIO Forum yesterday.

Among the symptoms of measles includes rashes, high fever and red eyes.

“Measles complication ranges from diarrhea, dehydration and even death,” said Alma Corpin, division manager of the Cebu City Health Department.

Entera added that immunization against measles is for free, a reason why children should be immunized against this preventable disease.

“Ang ubang parents makalimot sila og pag-immunized sa ilang mga anak. We hope that this time, ilaha na gyud ipa-immunized especially nga libre ra man ni sa atong mga barangay health centers,” he said.

DOH will intensify its “Oplan Tigdas” campaign this September in a bid to make the Philippines measles-free by 2017.

Entera added that health workers especially at the barangay level will have a door-to-door campaign to ensure the success of this mass immunization program.

She further said that one person infected with measles can infect 15 to 20 other people.

Senator Nancy Binay is set to file a resolution next week calling for a full review of the government’s immunization programs as it evidently failed to achieve a “zero” measles record in 2008, or 10 years after the Philippine government committed itself in 1998 to undertake mass measles vaccination targeting children nine months to 15 years old.—(FREEMAN)

ALMA CORPIN CEBU CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT CEBU PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DR. CYNTHIA GENESOLANGO DR. MARIA SOCORRO ENTERA HEALTH MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH MEASLES OPLAN TIGDAS
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