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WHO warns Philippines of more measles deaths

by VR Sreeraman on November 14, 2007 at 4:48 PM
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WHO warns Philippines of more measles deaths

Measles could kill up to 6,000 children a year in the Philippines unless the country steps up its immunisation programme, the World Health Organisation warned Tuesday.

In a statement from its regional headquarters in Manila the WHO said the measles outbreak which has plagued the country for almost a year will continue to spread unless more children are vaccinated.

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It did not say how many youngsters the disease had killed this year.

The WHO would declare the Philippines measles-free "only if every village vaccinates at least 95 percent of its children," said Soe Nyunt-U, the organisation's representative in the Philippines.
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"Failure to do so will result in the return of an estimated 6,000 deaths a year of Filipino children from this preventable disease."

The Philippines is halfway through a nationwide anti-measles campaign.

But with two weeks left, only 20 percent of the targeted 8.9 million children aged nine months to three years have been vaccinated, the WHO said.

Source: AFP
LIN/P
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