VSMMC puts up fast lane for patients with measles
Cebu City, Philippines – A day after the Department of Health (DOH)-7 declared a code white alert due to measles outbreak in the region, the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) put up a fast lane intended for patients with suspected cases of measles.
Dr. Miel Joy Villanueva, Assistant Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Health (DRRMH) officer of VSMMC, told reporters that two separate isolation rooms are designated for infants and adult patients infected with the disease.
“Isolate dayon sila. Deretso dayon sila sa measles fastlane,” Villanueva said, adding that this is done to avoid the spread of the disease.
She revealed that these past few days, around 10 adult patients were already admitted to VSMMC with suspected cases of measles. Most of them were in their 30s.
Aside from this, the hospital has also installed a vaccination post at their out-patient department (OPD) for immunization of children.
Dr. Shelbay Blanco, Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) coordinator from the Department of Health (DoH)-7, also visited the hospital to make sure that the fast lane was established, following the declaration of measles outbreak in nine regions in the country, including Central Visayas, last week.
According to Blanco that based on their records from January 1 to February 11, 2019, they’ve already recorded 145 cases of measles with two deaths.
Blanco urged parents to seek early consultation, especially if they notice that their child manifests the symptoms of the disease.
“Measles can be detected if a person is experiencing fever, rashes and the 3Cs (cough, colds, conjunctivitis). The disease is contiguous which can be transmitted through respiratory droplet, meaning kun naay moubo or mohatsing,” Blanco said.
Blanco added that the complication of the disease can be fatal to infants that include pneumonia, diarrhea, dehydration, encephalitis, and blindness.
As of the moment, Blanco said that they are now implementing different strategies in order to control the spread of the disease such as intensifying their continuous surveillance, declaring code white alert, activating the measles operation center, implementing the outbreak response immunization from six months old infants to 59 months old child, catch-up immunization to 15 years-old teens, and vaccination for adults with no history of immunization.
“We’ve also installed vaccination posts to RHU and in the regional office, intensify our health promotions and advocacies, put up fast lane and vaccination posts to hospitals,” he added.
DoH is also coordinating and urging the Department of Education (DepEd), provincial heads, governors and local chief executives to help them in improving their strategies against the disease.
Ruff Vincent Valdevieso, coordinator of the Expanded Immunization Program of DoH-7, is urging parents to have their children vaccinated at the nearest health center.
Valdevieso said they targeted measles vaccination of 800,000 babies aged six months to 59 months last year but only managed to administer the vaccine to 300,000 recipients, which is way below their supposed target. /bmjo
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