STATEMENT ON DIPHTHERIA

Press Release/25 September 2019

 

The Department of Health (DOH) urges parents to ensure that their children receive the complete dose of all recommended  vaccines in their first year of life.

Apart from the measles and poliomyelitis outbreaks that have been declared by the DOH, we must equally protect our infants and young children from other vaccine preventable diseases, namely, diphtheria, pertussis (or whooping cough), and tetanus  through immunization.

Cases of diphtheria and other infectious diseases are being monitored by the Epidemiology Bureau regularly. From January 2019 – September 2019, there have been 167 cases and 40 deaths compared to 122 cases and 30 deaths cases in the same period in 2018. The reasons for the trend are being investigated.

Aside from heightened immunization, the anti-toxin for diphtheria is available in the country, through the assistance of the World Health Organization.

Antibiotics for diphtheria, namely penicillin, erythromycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin, are locally and commercially available.

Now more than ever, the importance of protecting our infants and children from vaccine preventable diseases remains paramount. With our campaign, Back to bakUna, Una sa Lahat ang Bakuna,  DOH  calls on our local chief executives, local government health workers, other health professionals, and civil society groups to work together to reach every child and ensure that they receive the vaccines on time.