For collaborating with local governments to combat the rise of measles cases nationwide, local chapters of the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) were hailed during the society’s 56th Annual Convention at the Philippine International Convention Center.
The lauded chapters include those from Northeastern Luzon, Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Negros Occidental, Western Visayas, Cebu Central Visayas, Davao Southern Mindanao, North Central Mindanao, and Southwestern Mindanao.
Some of these chapters work in regions where measles outbreaks have been declared. These include Metro Manila (NCR), Central Luzon (Region 3), CALABARZON (Region 4A), Western Visayas (Region 6), and Central Visayas (Region 7). While no outbreaks have been declared in other regions, measles cases have been reported in nearly every province in February.
“The work of our local chapters is a testament to their commitment, creativity, and ingenuity to collaborate with local government units to address the measles outbreak in the country,” said PPS President Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian. “Our work continues to make sure that we, as pediatricians, are equipping our patients with the knowledge of how vaccines can save lives.”
These local chapters were specifically recognized for heeding a plea by the PPS for greater public-private collaboration to resolve the health crisis. In February, the PPS and Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) released a letter calling on their members to take every opportunity to educate the public about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
The PPS and PIDSP also launched the “Save the Future” campaign, which aims to restore the public’s trust in vaccination. The campaign pledged to support the Department of Health’s initiatives to increase awareness and immunization coverage nationwide.
By end of April this year, the DOH revealed that it exceeded its target to provide measles vaccination for 3.8 million Filipino children aged six months to 59 months. While the number of measles cases has decreased, the DOH is yet to declare an end to the outbreak in Metro Manila and other regions in the Philippines.