The Philippines authorities and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) called on parents to immediately vaccinate their children against measles. an outbreak that killed more than ten children throughout the country since the beginning of the year.
The head of UNICEF in the country, Julia Rees, warned that the vaccination rate in the country only 55% although the vaccine is free of charge and is available in all health facilities.
"The measles vaccine is safe and effective and has been successfully used in the Philippines for over 40 years," he said. "I invite parents and communities to take their children to a health center in order to immunize themselves." Children's measles are deadly and can cause long-term complications and disorders, "he added.
The Philippines Department of Health said this week that the infection broke out in the metropolitan area of Manila and the Central Luzon region, with about 1,300 registered cases and at least 60 deaths due to the disease. Most of the deaths, more than 50, occurred mainly in the San Lorenzo Hospital in Manila children from three months to four years.
According to the Ministry of Health, measles cases increased by more than 500% this year compared to the same period of the previous year. The health authorities have stated that the outbreak is associated with the lack of vaccination of many children due to the Dengwaxia scandal, a dengue vaccine that caused more deaths in the Philippines at the end of 2017.
According to Unicef Approximately 2.5 million children under 5 years of age do not split into measles. In Manila alone, the number of measles patients increased from 26 January to 441 in comparison to 36 in 2018. At least five deaths were reported in Manila.