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Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Dick Gordon expressed concern on the situation of Filipino children following reports that cases of measles increased significantly in recent weeks.

“The US expressed deep concern on the news that 45 children in a certain state had measles. With that, should we not be more concerned that there are 2,000 children in some parts of the country that are reported to have been affected by measles?” Gordon asked.

The Department of Health (DOH) said vaccination protects against measles, which has no specific treatment.

Concerned with the spread of the virus that can expose millions of Filipino children to measles, he said PRC will roll out a massive six-month immunization activity. 

“We must vaccinate, isolate and support initiatives to temper the outbreak.”

“We need to act fast. We must vaccinate, isolate and support initiatives to temper the outbreak,” Gordon said, instructing PRC to deploy volunteers and ensure Volunteer Emergency Response Vehicles (VERVs) and motorcycles are sent across the country as soon as possible so children can be vaccinated against measles at the soonest time. 

He also instructed to ready medical tents and its Emergency Field Hospital in case hospitals will be overloaded with patients like what PRC did during the 2019 Measles Outbreak. 

“Our network of Volunteer Doctors and Nurses will do the massive vaccination,” Gordon added.

Secretary-General Dr. Gwen Pang said the PRC is in continuous collaboration with government agencies, particularly the DOH, in addressing the new health scare.

“We have to interrupt the transmission of the virus.”

“We have to interrupt the transmission of the virus. With that, the vaccination campaign must be non-selective to ensure everyone is vaccinated,” Pang said, stressing that initiatives to widen the scope of measles vaccination from zero to five years, to zero to less than 10 years old will significantly reduce the transmission of measles.

Measles or “tigdas” is highly contagious, according to the DOH. Infected individuals can spread measles through the air, particularly by coughing and sneezing, and can affect all age groups, particularly, children. Symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, and a body rash. 



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