SENATOR Richard Gordon yesterday said the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is now ready to provide assistance to the patients of the measles outbreak which has spread to other regions of Luzon, Central and Eastern Visayas.
Gordon, chairman of PRC, said that they are ready to provide medical interventions, including the establishment of a 100-bed emergency medical unit (EMU) and welfare desks at the SLH. PRC is also ready to provide blankets and hygiene kits to the patients and parents currently staying at the hospital.
This was after Gordon visited the patients confined at the San Lazaro Hospital (SLH) in Manila last Wednesday midnight and personally witnessed their pitiful conditions.
“We need to work together to assist the families affected by the measles outbreak. When we visited the SLH, we saw two or three children sharing one bed with parents also sharing the space. What was usually a room for two or three patients now accommodate up to 10 children. Even hallways are now being used,” the senator said.
Gordon called on the parents to have their children inoculated to stop the spread of the outbreak.
“Sa mga magulang, wag natin isawalang-bahala ang kalusugan ng ating mga anak. Pabakunahan na natin sila bago pa lumaganap nang husto ang outbreak ng tigdas. Let us learn from the mistakes on Dengvaxia, but let us not use that issue to disregard the vaccines in the EPI (Expanded Program on Immunization). Vaccines included in the EPI are safe,” he said.
He also instructed PRC’s different chapters to conduct community mobilization to raise awareness on measles and its prevention measures after the Department of Health raised the red flag for measles in other regions of Luzon, Central and Eastern Visayas in addition to yesterday’s outbreak declaration in the National Capital Region.
Meanwhile, Senator JV Ejercito urged the DoH to ensure a steady and sufficient supply of measles vaccines not only for the victims, but also for the necessary mass inoculations in areas not yet affected by the outbreak in order to prevent the illness from spreading further.
“If necessary, the DoH should make an emergency procurement,” Ejercito said.
“Dapat kausapin ng DoH at hingin ang tulong ng mga trucking companies, airlines, shipping lines at iba pang transportation companies para tumulong sa pagbibiyahe ng supply ng bakuna at maihatid nang maayos at sa takdang oras sa mga probinsiya o region na may measles outbreak,” he added.
He stressed that to stop the spread of outbreaks, all sectors must learn to help one another while the government must be swift and decisive in their action.