Measles outbreak: Red Cross opening 100-bed emergency unit at San Lazaro
MANILA, Philippines —The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Thursday said it will coordinate with the Department of Health (DOH) in assisting patients affected by the measles outbreak.
After visiting the San Lazaro Hospital (SLH) in Manila, PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said they would provide medical equipment and set up a 100-bed emergency medical unit (EMU) and welfare desks in the hospital.
“We need to work together to assist the families affected by the measles outbreak. When we visited the SLH at midnight, we saw two or three children sharing one bed with parents also sharing the space. What was a usually room for two or three patients now accommodate up to 10 children. Even hallways are now being used,” Gordon said.
Dr. Barbara May Banaobra said there are over 250 measles patients admitted at SLH.
Banaobra added that most of the patients are children who did not receive measles immunization shots.
PRC’s local chapters will also conduct community mobilization initiatives to raise awareness on ways to prevention measles in Central Luzon, Eastern Visayas and Central Visayas.
PRC also urged the public not to politicize vaccination programs which can protect children from preventable illnesses.
“Let’s stop the scare and rather educate the parents, families, and communities on the importance of vaccination for our children’s sake. I’ve said this a long time ago, hindi masama ang bakuna na kabilang sa Expanded Program on Immunization,” Gordon said in a statement. /gsg
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