By Analou de Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday assured that it will provide the needed medical supplies and interventions in Malapatan, Sarangani in order to contain a suspected measles outbreak which has affected 84 individuals and claimed the lives of 18 others.
“In response to our mandate of ensuring the safety of public in times of emergencies to contain its effect and not to cause further stress to our people, I am reassuring everyone, especially those communities affected, that the DOH central office will provide all the needed logistical and supplies support for the LGUs (local government units), to be able to conduct more effectively and efficiently the outbreak response immunization,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
Duque said that those people affected with the suspected measles belong to B’laan tribe, and came from different sitios in Barangay Upper Suyan in the municipality of Malapatan.
“Age range of these suspect measles cases were from four months to 40 years old, where majority are females. Eighteen of them were physically checked up by a physician while the rest were just based on verbal accounts of relatives and barangay officials,” said Duque.
Duque said that on November 22, the serum specimen collected from 12 of the said cases were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for a measles confirmatory test.
The results will be available in seven to 10 days.
The DOH has yet to declare a measles outbreak since it still needs a laboratory confirmation