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RO9 MeaslesThe National Nutrition Council-IX supports Department of Health-IX campaign on Measles-Rubella Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-SIA). Measles or tigdas is one of the most contagious disease globally. In the Philippines, an estimated 2.4 million children under the age of five are susceptible of measles. Since April 2018, the Department of Health (DOH) launched the measles immunization campaign called “Ligtas Tigdas” to address the rising cases of measles in the Philippines. Based on DOH’s Measles and Rubella Surveillance report and World Health Organization (WHO) Epidemiological Overview 2020, between 1 January and 31 December 2019, a total of 47,871 cases of measles, including 632 deaths, were recorded, with a case fatality rate of 2.6%. As of August 2020, there are around 3,500 reported measles cases with 36 deaths. Most of the cases are among children under five years old.

Measles is a dangerous and fatal disease. There is no specific treatment for measles and the only protection to prevent getting measles is vaccination. WHO recommends children 6 months old and older should be vaccinated. For those whose children are still less than 6 months of age, the best thing to do is to be vigilant of ongoing measles infection in the community and limiting the exposure of the child.

The typical symptoms of measles are rashes and fever, accompanied by any of the following: cough, runny nose, or red eyes. It is important to bring your child to a health facility quickly if the child is very young, has high fever after more than 3 days of rash onset, or other signs of severe infection such as breathing difficulties, confusion or convulsion, and diarrhea.

This year DOH, together with the Local Government Units will start the nationwide measles, rubella and polio supplemental immunization activity on 26 October 2020. The activity will be rolled out in two phases. Phase 1 will be conducted from 26 October to 25 November 2020 in Mindanao regions, Cordillera Administrative Regions (CAR), Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region, MIMAROPA Region, and Bicol Region. On the other hand, Phase 2 will be conducted in February 2021 in Visayas Regions, NCR, Central Luzon and CALABARZON.

The typical symptoms of measles are rashes and fever, accompanied by any of the following: cough, runny nose, or red eyes. It is important to bring your child to a health facility quickly if the child is very young, has high fever after more than 3 days of rash onset, or other signs of severe infection such as breathing difficulties, confusion or convulsion, and diarrhea.

In Zamboanga Peninsula, DOH Region IX will conduct its Measles-Rubella Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-SIA) from 26 October to 25 November for children 9-59 months. For updates regarding the activity, follow DOH Zamboanga Peninsula CHD’s FB page at: https://www.facebook.com/dohzpchd

We are calling on all our partners to help in the widest dissemination on the campaign of the Measles-Rubella Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-SIA) of the Department of Health.

 

AA VI Cielo Katrina M. Mabalot

 

References:

1. “Philippines: Measles Outbreak” from https://reliefweb.int/report/philippines/philippines-measles-outbreak-operation-update-re-emergence-vaccine-preventable

2. “Questions and answers on the measles outbreak in the Philippines” from https://www.who.int/philippines/news/feature-stories/detail/questions-and-answers-on-the-measles-outbreak-in-the-philippines

3. “DOH, WHO, UNICEF to conduct nationwide measles campaign starting October 26) from https://www.who.int/philippines/news/detail/17-09-2020-doh-who-unicef-to-conduct-nationwide-measles-campaign-starting-october-26