DOH acts to stop rise in vaccine-preventable diseases

MANILA The Department of Health (DOH) is doing everything it can to prevent the rise in vaccine-preventable diseases from spreading in the country, MalacaAang said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark following reports that a 10-year-old girl in Manila died within hours after being diagnosed with diphtheria last Sept. 20.

Data from the DOH showed that cases of diphtheria rose to 167, including 40 deaths, from January to September this year. Last year, there were 122 cases, including 30 deaths.

DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo said despite this increase, there is no outbreak of diphtheria in the country.

Naniniwala ako na ginagawa niya ang lahat ng kaniyang makakaya upang alagaan ang kalusugan ng sambayanang Pilipino (I believe that he is doing everything he can to ensure the health of all Filipinos), Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has assured that his agency has got the situation under control.

Kausap ko si Secretary Duque nung isang araw, sinasabi niya (I spoke to Secretary Duque the other day, he said) 'the situation is under control,' Panelo said.

Meron tayong mga programa sa mga (We have programs for) vaccination all over. Kahit sa mga barangay meron tayo (Even in villages, we have them), he added.

The Palace official said Duque will continue to ensure that free immunization will be given to all Filipinos.

The symptoms of diphtheria, a bacterial infection that affects the throat and upper airways, include weakness, sore throat, fever, and swollen glands in the neck and is spread through sneezing, coughing, and close personal contact.

Earlier, the DOH has declared an outbreak of measles, dengue, and polio in the country.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said President Rodrigo Duterte himself is willing to promote the immunization campaign against these diseases. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency