In defense of Garin
Before you throw everything — including the kitchen sink — at former Health Secretary Janette Garin over the botched dengue immunization program, consider this: the vaccine in question, Dengvaxia, had been recommended to the Philippine government by the World Health Organization (WHO).
French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, manufacturer of the antidengue vaccine, had sold it to Brazil and 19 other countries in South America, including Mexico and El Salvador, where the mosquito-borne disease is prevalent.
Garin told this columnist that after receiving the WHO recommendation to use Dengvaxia, she consulted with the Brazilian government.
Brazil, she was told, had been successful in using Dengvaxia in its public health program.
And because of the WHO recommendation and Brazil’s success, our Department of Health launched a massive immunization program in the National Capital Region (NCR), Region III and Region IV-A.
The NCR is composed of 17 cities and a municipality in Metro Manila; Region III is composed of provinces in Central Luzon while Region IV-A is comprised by Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces.
Dengue was prevalent in these places, Garin said.
It’s only now that Sanofi Pasteur came out with the announcement that Dengvaxia could worsen the effects of dengue in people who have not contracted the mosquito-borne disease before.
So why blame Garin who ordered the use of Dengvaxia upon the recommendation of the WHO, local and global experts?
Why would Garin, a medical doctor who specializes in public health, order the use of a vaccine that would harm hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren?
Why not blame the WHO instead?
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After the loss of 15 of its fighters in a clash with government troops in Nasugbu, Batangas province, the New People’s Army (NPA) is out for revenge.
The government should expect more attacks on police stations and ambuscades on military and police patrols.
Policemen are the easiest targets since most of them are ill-disciplined and abusive; this behavior makes them the enemy of the citizenry, as well.
The best way for government troops to beat the NPA is to fight them right in their own turf.
I mean seek them out in their lairs and attack them while they are at rest or foraging for food.
The problem with our troops is that they stay inside their barracks most of the time; they react only after an ambush that kills several of their comrades.
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Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, congratulated his son, Rock, for supposedly surviving the rigors of training as a fourth class cadet of the Philippine National Police Academy.
“I told my son I’m proud of him,” Bato told reporters.
How can Bato be proud of his son who has bodyguards and did not undergo hardship like his fellow plebes?
Rock’s upperclassmen, as well as his fellow plebes, are complaining that he is always under guard, doesn’t sleep in the barracks and goes out most nights.
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