The City Health Office (CHO) in Bacolod has appealed anew to Bacolodnons to bring their children to health centers for measles immunization as reported cases in the city increased by 614.3 percent from January 1-July 6 this year.
The Provincial Government if Negros Occidental meanwhile is urging Negrenses to take dengue-preventive measures as cases continue to rise.
MEASLES. As of yesterday in Bacolod, 14 out of the 200 cases recorded since the start of 2019 have been confirmed as measles by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) of the Department of Health (DOH).
The RITM declared six positive measles cases recently after the initial eight it confirmed earlier.
Dr. Grace Tan, head of CHO Environment Sanitation Division, said many of those afflicted were found to have no history of immunization.
“We call on everyone to bring unimmunized children less than five years old to the health centers. The measles vaccine is free,” she added.
A total of 200 cases were recorded in the first 27 weeks of 2019, from only 28 in the previous year.
“Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease, which means it can be prevented through immunization and no other else,” Tan said.
The target groups include infants aged six, nine and 12 months who can be brought to the barangay health centers for free measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunization every Wednesday.
Children in age-groups above one-year-old and below five years old, and school children in Grades 1 and 7, who missed the school-based immunization, can also visit the health centers for their anti-measles shots.
DENGUE CASES. Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has issued Monday an executive order declaring a heightened alert amid the rising number of dengue cases in the province.
Lacson said the province has already reached the “alert threshold” and the provincial government wants to avoid the “epidemic threshold.”
“It is still far off at the moment, but still we just want raise the alert level for every local government unit,” the governor said.
The public “should go back to basics and practice cleanliness in their local communities,” he pointed out.
Lacson said he also met with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr. during the Governor’s League General Assembly and he explained no matter what the people will do the number of dengue cases are expected to “spike” every three years.
“Even if we religiously do the protocol, we can still expect that there will be a spike,” he said.
However, Lacson said they cannot use it as an “excuse”.
He added that the Capitol- operated district hospitals and the provincial hospital “are fully prepared”.
I have not received any complaint of any hospital denying any dengue-related patients for treatment, he also said.
Data from the PHO showed that as of June this year, there was a 73 percent increase in dengue cases in the province.
Between January and June of this year, a total of 2,800 dengue cases an increase of 1,600 cases recorded during the same period last year.
Records showed the highest number of cases were reported in Kabankalan City, San Carlos City, Bago City, Cadiz City, and Cauayan.
PHO also noted there were 10 fatalities this year, five of which were recorded in Cadiz City, the highest of any local government unit in Negros Occidental.
BLOOD SUPPLY SHORTAGE.
Meanwhile, Lacson also confirmed reports that there is currently a “shortage of blood supply” in the province.
“We need donors and we are calling out to qualified donors,” Lacson said.
He further added he plans to organize a “blood-letting” activity for provincial government employees to increase blood supply.
We will wait for the recommendation of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), Lacson said.* (Nanette Guadalquiver w/report from UMP & NDB)