Measles outbreak has been taking a toll in Philippines claiming 136 lives, half of them are children aged between 1 and four years, and 8,400 others have been sickened, said the Philippines Health Secretary. The outbreak of measles in such huge numbers could be partly blamed on vaccination fears prevailing among people.
According to the Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, a full immunization drive that began last week in the worst hit capital, Manila and four other provinces would contain the spread of infection by April. "No ifs, no buts, no conditions, you just have to bring your children and trust that the vaccines ... will save your children. That's the absolute answer to this outbreak," he told the Associated Press by phone.
In metropolitan Manila where 12 million people live, the measles infections shooted up to 1000 percent in January compared to last year, said health officials. In a TV address, the President, Rodrigo Duterte warned of severe complications and urged parents to immunize their children.
"It seems the faith has come back," Duque said that people's trust on government's immunization drive has returned citing the vaccination of about 130,000 of 450,000 people targeted for anti-measles shots in Manila in just a week.