Manila, Philippines – Health authorities in the Philippines compete to contain deadly outbreaks of measles, which the government is accusing a significant drop in immunization after a dengue vaccine scandal.
More than 70 people – mostly children – have died from measles all over the country since January, with a high concentration of cases in the capital, Manila and surrounding provinces.
Over 4300 people have contracted this disease this year, 122%
Many affected by poor families, who depend on public health care and medicines, both of which are now difficult for the government to provide. 1
In municipalities and villages, health workers urge hesitant parents to immunize their children against measles and other diseases such as polio, diphtheria, hepatitis and influenza.
In the past year, fewer parents have used the free basic immunizations of the government, fearing that vaccines can harm their children.
Health authorities say the vaccination rate has dropped from 85% to 60%, even in some communities, even 30%. are left vulnerable to measles and unvaccinated adults also face a risk of infection.
The "Drama" Vaccine
Francisco Duke III, the health secretary, blamed the falling rates of vaccination for fear of being said by the public Law Office, especially its main lawyer, Persida Akosta, conducting a public campaign investigation for vaccination against dengue fever in 2016 and 2017
Measles, a contagious disease, killed around 110,000 people in 2017, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The vast majority are children under five.
The disease begins as a common cold, progressing to high fever and worsening of symptoms. It is infected by direct contact and is in the air. After infecting the respiratory tract, it spreads rapidly across the body. Within a few days, rashes appear on the face and neck to fully cover the infected person.
The WHO says deaths happen due to complications with the disease, such as encephalitis (an infection causing brain swelling), diarrhea, dehydration, ear. infections or severe respiratory infections. WHO studies have found that Southeast Asia suffers more cases of measles than anywhere in the world.
In 2017, 107,292 cases were observed in Southeast Asia. The following year, the figure has fallen to around 83,000 suspected cases.
Acosta has insisted that the vaccine used for use, Dengvaxia, causes the deaths of dozens of children, although parallel investigations have not reached the same conclusion. in a prominent place in Senate and House of Representatives Dengvakia's television investigations, presenting relatives of alleged victims and claiming that the autopsies conducted by her cabinet have found that death is "likely" related to the vaccine. explode, criticizing other employees who describe her behavior as "hysterical". The dispute began in November 2017 when the manufacturer of Dengvaxia Sanofi Pasteur announced that the vaccine may not be effective in some cases and may lead to severe dengue infections in some individuals who previously did not suffer from the disease .
At that time, more than 700,000 students have already received at least one dose of Dengvaxia through a $ 67 million government project to eliminate dengue fever, one of the most common and deadly diseases among children in the Philippines.
Since then, the Ministry of Justice has filed cases of negligence and corruption against former President Benino Akino, two of his cabinet secretaries, and several other officials who were implementing the Dengwaxi immunization program.
Accosta's Office filed separate charges, including against Duke, who took office as a Health Secretary a month before Sanofi Pasteur's announcement, and who stopped the Dengvaxia Project in December 2017
Duque called the accusations "malicious and unfounded."
"The Dengvaxia scream, all this drama that they do, has really caused damage to the integrity and effectiveness of the Ministry of Health, Casa Duke, to reporters, referring to the Office of the Public Attorney
" Politically motivated hunting of witches "
" They may wonder whether they have failed to campaign for safe vaccines such as this one for measles, "said Acosta,
Salvador Panellus, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duttere, defended Akosta, saying that "he was just doing his job" by collecting accused victims of Dengwaxia to bring charges.
Panel also confirmed Duke's opinion that the Dengwaxia affair vaccine fear that led to an outbreak of measles
In response, Durath urged his health officials to step up their efforts to immunize children, urging parents to take advantage of the main vaccines offered free of charge in public health.
Opposition figures associated with former President Akinoc criticized Akosta and accused her of using the Dengvaxia deeds to discredit Düther's political opponents whose election camp in 2016
"Our country's immunization program is now in distress and the health of our children is threatened by the threat of a vaccine caused by Acosta's desire to be in the grace of Duterte, "said Senator Leila. De Lima, who was imprisoned on drug charges after investigating the killings in the Drug War in Dudir.
"Her lies and hysteria have contributed directly to the erosion of public life