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Monitor measles outbreak, NDRRMC offices ordered
NDRRMC executive director and OCD administrator Ricardo Jalad issued the directive on Wednesday following an NDRRMC response cluster meeting presided over by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
Michael Varcas

Monitor measles outbreak, NDRRMC offices ordered

Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - February 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), has ordered all its regional disaster offices to convene their respective response clusters to help monitor possible measles outbreaks in their respective areas.

NDRRMC executive director and OCD administrator Ricardo Jalad issued the directive on Wednesday following an NDRRMC response cluster meeting presided over by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The meeting last Monday was specifically called to coordinate the government’s plan of action in light of the measles outbreak declaration in the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog (Calabarzon and Mimaropa) and Eastern Visayas.

Representatives from NDRRMC-attached agencies, including the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Education, Interior and Local Government, and Foreign Affairs; Commission on Higher Education; Philippine Coast Guard; Armed Forces of the Philippines; Philippine National Police; Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine Information  Agency attended the meeting.

“The NDRRMC through the OCD as its executive arm, issued a memorandum to OCD regional offices to convene their respective RDRRMC response clusters to monitor efforts and activities of the relevant national agencies pertaining to delivery of services and to ensure preventive measures and implement necessary response actions when needed,” Jalad said.

He also appealed to parents to have their unvaccinated kids get a measles vaccine shot. He likewise urged unvaccinated adults to have themselves vaccinated.

Citing records of the Department of Health (DOH), Jalad said that as of Jan. 26, some 1,813 measles cases have been reported, with 28 verified casualties.

“Further reports are being verified and updated. The public is advised to be on alert, avail of immunization shots for unvaccinated children and adults and to seek medical attention once symptoms show,” Jalad said.

Vaccination centers in malls, fastfoods

Meanwhile, the DOH has opted to set up vaccination centers at selected fastfood chains and malls in a bid to immunize many children against measles.

The DOH is also planning to establish vaccination centers outside churches in the region, according to DOH-Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) regional director Eduardo Janairo.

“We requested our religious leaders to read a letter to the parents to have their children vaccinated in their masses and worships and other convergence activities,” Janairo disclosed.

He said they have established vaccination centers at selected fastfood chains and malls in the region in support of the government’s massive immunization drive.

Yesterday, the DOH also sought the help of barangay captains in Metro Manila in encouraging parents to have their children vaccinated against measles and other infectious diseases.

Duque met with barangay officials to seek their help for the government’s immunization drive.

The establishment of alternative immunization sites, according to Duque, is parallel to their house-to-house program and the extension of vaccination activities after 5 p.m. and during weekends.

The public, he added, has no more reason to shy away from getting measles shots since the DOH is already providing free and accessible immunization.

“Vaccination is the only prevention and there is no cure for the disease since it is self-limiting. We advise all parents and guardians to have their children vaccinated. It is free,” Janairo stressed.

He pointed out that measles vaccines are different from the controversial Dengvaxia.

“Parents need not worry because it is very safe, effective and is the best defense against measles,” Janairo said.

As of Feb. 11, a total of 1,434 cases have been recorded in Calabarzon. – With Mayen Jaymalin

DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL MEASLES OUTBREAKS OFFICE OF CIVIL DEFENSE
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