By Jel Santos
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has been awarded the Measles and Rubella Initiative (M&RI) Champion Award for its successful efforts in addressing the measles outbreak that recently hit the country.
The award was given to the PRC during the M&RI partners meeting on Sept. 12, 2019 in Washington.
The PRC was recognized for utilizing community and partners to give strategic work on measles response activities, said the M&RI – a global coalition among the American Red Cross, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Foundation, UNICEF, and World Health Organization.
Senator Richard Gordon, PRC chairman, said the award reflects the success of PRC in addressing the measles outbreak in the country.
“The Red Cross played a crucial role in regaining the public’s trust in vaccination. We are extremely grateful for this award, but we know that the battle against measles is far from over. We commit to advocate for continued vaccination and create dialogue in communities to ensure the welfare of their people is being looked after,” he said in a statement.
There were about 130 participants from 30 international organizations that attended the M&RI meeting.
Gordon was represented by PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla and Health Service Manager Mark Alvin Abrigo.
During the meeting, PRC presented its accomplishments and approaches to the measles outbreak in the Philippines.
Citing the data of the Department of Health (DOH), PRC said the measles outbreak in the country affected 40,782 individuals, resulting in 551 deaths.
PRC said that it has administered vaccines to 16,956 children and assisted 3,735 patients through its six measles care units.