The Philippine health department has noted a sharp rise of measles cases in Metro Manila, prompting health authorities to declare on Wednesday measles outbreak in the Philippine capital.
Measles, locally known as "tigdas", is a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons.
The health secretary said that Calabarzon, a collective name for the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, had the highest number of measles cases at 575, including nine deaths.
These regions need to likewise scale-up their response against measles and having all unvaccinated children vaccinated against measles, a proven effective and safe measure to further stop its spread, is required.
Measles can spread easily through coughs and sneezes.
"There is yet no law [for mandatory vaccination] but this is something that merits serious consideration", Duque said.
In a news conference, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles on Friday said the government might face legal issues in court if it implemented mandatory immunization for children. "I can not be blaming her for that", he said.
Amid the outbreak, the House of Representatives also on Friday approved on second reading an act expanding the coverage of the mandatory basic immunization program and providing a system in the determination of other types of vaccine-preventable diseases, amending Republic Act (RA) 10152 or the "Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act of 2011". "Our children are protected so there is no cause for concern", a statement by the Health Ministry states.
There have been 1,813 measles cases and 26 deaths in Philippines as of January 26, according to the Department of Health Epidemiology Bureau.
Convocar said they also prioritize the implementation of "measles fast lanes".
For the whole year of 2018, NCR registered 3, 646 measles cases as to against 351 cases in 2017.
The DOH and San Lazaro have yet to reconcile their figures. Of the confirmed cases, eight were not vaccinated and the remaining two have unknown immunization status. In Luzon, 192 cases were reported with four deaths. Duque said a total of 861 suspected measles cases have been reported to the DOH as of Feb.2.
"I appeal to all parents to have their children vaccinated against measles".
"To the parents, let's not take the health of our children for granted". There is an outbreak of measles in the region.
Duque has sought to assure parents that the vaccination for measles is not similar to the Dengvaxia vaccine.
A child receives a shot of measles vaccine during the house to house campaign against measles conducted by the Department of Health in an east suburban of Manila, Philippines.