Philippines hit by deadly measles outbreak after controversy over dengue vaccinations I#AsiaNewsNetwork

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The new National Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) made this statement following the declaration of measles outbreak in several regions by the Department of Health (DOH).

Based on validated data, Duque said 575 cases including nine deaths have been recorded in Calabarzon, a figure that represented a 2,538 increase over the measles cases reported previous year.

Some parents became hesitant to have their children immunized due to misinformation or "fake news" about vaccines triggered by the controversial anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, lamented Convocar.

Although the said health facility is already teeming with patients, De Guzman said in an interview that they couldn't turn down patients with measles who seek medical help.

He said the main target for vaccination this time was measles because it was very contagious and could quickly spread.

Of the 11 measles cases confirmed this year, eight were imported, four from Vietnam and the Philippines each, and three indigenous cases, it indicated.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday pushed for mandatory immunization of children in the wake of a measles outbreak but a senior Malacañang official said this was not necessary and the proposal could face legal challenge.

Acknowledging the health emergency, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a "vigorous campaign" to get parents to have their children vaccinated. Ejercito, chairman of the Senate committee on health and demography, stressed the importance of vaccines-administered free in barangay health centers-to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Among its complications include diarrhea, infection of the lung and ear, encephalitis, malnutrition, and blindness which may lead to death. There is an outbreak of measles in the region. "I can not be blaming her for that", he said.

Corpin said the MMRV vaccination program only topped 50 percent of the total population in Cebu City.

But she reminded parents yesterday that immunity from diseases is "the best inheritance" they could leave their children.

This was largely blamed on the government's public attorney, Persida Acosta, who said she was preparing legal action against Aquino and Duque for dozens of deaths she attributed to Dengvaxia use. "While it is the primary duty of parents to protect their children's health, the government, through the Department of Health, should not be complacent in promoting complete immunization".

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