Amid measles outbreak, Duterte appeals for children’s immunization
MANILA, Philippines — Amid a measles outbreak in the capital and other regions of the country, President Rodrigo Duterte has taken a direct hand in the information campaign that seeks to restore the public’s confidence in the government’s immunization program.
In a short message aired over state-run PTV-4 on Friday, Duterte called on the parents to have their children vaccinated to avoid the highly communicable disease.
“Mga kababayan, dumadami ang kaso ng tigdas at ang komplikasyon nito ay mamatay ka. Sa mga anak natin, bakuna lamang ang tanging paraan makaiwas sa sakit na ito,” Duterte said.
(Countrymen, measles cases are rising, and its complications are fatal. Vaccination is the only way we can prevent our children from getting the disease.)
Earlier this month, the Department of Health (DOH) announced the outbreak of measles in the National Capital Region (NCR). The outbreak declaration has been expanded to Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas a day after.
Cases of measles, locally known as “tigdas,” in NCR rose by 550 percent from January 1 to February 6 compared to the same period last year, said Health Secretary Francisco Duque.
Even before the DOH declared a measles outbreak, Duterte has already called on Filipinos to avail of the government immunization program and not be swayed by the Dngvaxia immunization scare.
“Do not be lulled and be complacent about it,” Duterte said at an event in Malabon City last month. “Ang sanggol talaga kailangan. Dengvaxia lang kung ayaw ninyo okay lang (Babies really need to be vacinated. If you don’t like Dengvacia, that’s OK).” /ee
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