DOH doubles efforts against rising measles cases

Stock photo from Pixabay

LEGAZPI CITY--Due to the increasing trend of measles cases in Bicol, the Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH CHD) Bicol puts all-out efforts to boost the immunization campaign and strengthen its collaboration with partners and agencies to control and prevent the spread of measles.

In data recorded from January to February 21, 2019, DOH CHD – Bicol has a total of 270 cases of measles, which is a 13400% increase from the measles surveillance report from last year of the same period. Camarines Sur holds the highest number of cases at 74, followed by Masbate – 68, Sorsogon – 59, Albay – 54, Camarines Norte – 13, Catanduanes – 1, and others – 1. 

There are also 2 measles-related deaths in Masbate, 1 in Sorsogon, 1 in Camarines Sur, and 1 in Albay. 

DOH CHD – Bicol warns that measles is a rapidly spreading disease, which is highly contagious and can cause serious complications such as blindness, severe diarrhea, respiratory infections such as pneumonia, encephalitis or the acute inflammation of the brain, and even death.

Since the declaration of measles outbreak in Manila last February 2, 2019, DOH CHD - Bicol has focused its efforts in enjoining the Provincial Health Offices (PHOs) in Bicol and the Department of Education (DepEd) to actively participate in the prevention and control of measles and increase herd immunity by advocating vaccination. 

DOH CHD – Bicol has also since provided technical assistance through the deployment of Human Resources for Health (HRH) to conduct house-to-house and mass immunization, information dissemination, provision of vaccines, as well as the establishment of measles fast lanes and isolation rooms in hospitals to prevent the spread of measles. OIC Regional Director, Dr. Ernie V. Vera is pushing to double the efforts of the agency. 

Currently, Vera is closely monitoring and evaluating the response effort against measles of each province since February 19, 2019. Vera has since visited schools and health stations in Albay and Sorsogon and has also discussed with DepEd regarding the precautionary measures to be undertaken during the Palarong Bicol being held in Masbate.//nsau