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WHO warns of soaring rates of measles in Europe

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan holds the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 during a news conference at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, October 19, 2015. REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of soaring rates of measles in Europe.

The cases increased four-fold, with more than 20,000 people affected and 35 deaths.

Fifteen European region countries, including the UK, had large outbreaks. Measles cases were highest in Romania, Italy, and Ukraine. The UK saw 282 cases in 2017.

The UK recently achieved WHO’s measles elimination status, meaning that for the past few years the number of cases has been low enough to stop the disease circulating around the country.

The overall risk of measles to the UK population is low, but WHO warns that due to ongoing measles outbreaks in Europe, cases in unimmunized individuals and limited onward spread can occur. — Reuters

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WHO warns against falsified rabies and anti-rabies vaccines in PH

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Image by LuAnn Hunt from Pixabay

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against falsified rabies and anti-rabies vaccines circulating in the Philippines.

Based on their 2019 medical product alert, the WHO identifies three falsified rabies vaccines as Verorab, Speeda, and Rabipur. They also identified one anti-rabies called Equirab.

“Investigations are ongoing, and laboratory analyses are being facilitated for available samples to determine their contents and better assess the risk to public health.” according to the medical product alert.

WHO warns supply chains in the country, including hospitals, clinics, health centres, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies to remain vigilant for falsified products.

“All medical products must be obtained from authentic and reliable sources. Their authenticity and condition should be carefully checked. Seek advice from a healthcare professional in case of doubt,” WHO said.—AAC

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DOH eyes vaccinating 9-M schoolchildren

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_080717_HPV VACCINES

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday relaunched its school-based immunization program in a bid to have some 9 million children catch up on missed vaccinations this year.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the program aims to immunize students from kindergarten to Grade 7 with the measles and rubella vaccines. Students will also be given booster doses of tetanus-diptheria vaccines.

Duque led the vaccination of some children in Signal Village National High School in Taguig City on Wednesday morning (July 3).

The DOH chief said all students will undergo a quick health assessment and review of their vaccination status, stressing that only students with parental consent will be immunized.

In a speech, Duque called on parents to have their children vaccinated to protect them against diseases. He also cited the low response rate on the government’s immunization program due to reduced public trust following the dengvaxia controversy.

Although public response and trust in national immunization program has been notably increasing in Metro Manila in the past few months, Duque admitted, much is still needed to be done.

“Mababa pa rin, so iyan po mababa pa rin. That’s why we still need to aggressively pursue our National Immunization Program,” he said.

The DOH’s relaunching of its school-based immunization program comes after the declaration of a measles outbreak in February 2019. The outbreak status has yet to be lifted since its declaration in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas and Central Visayas.

According to Duque, they are targeting to reach 95% vaccination coverage this year to prevent repeated declaration of disease outbreaks due to the proliferation of false information.

“May iba umiiyak dahil namatay isa, dalawang anak dahil lang sa ayaw magpabakuna dahil nga bunsod ng maling impormasyon na kumakalat sa mga komunidad at minsan hindi naman talaga naippliwanag ng sapat.. ang nagiging resulta ay ang kaaawa-awang bata na nagkakaroon ng komplikasyon gaya ng measles,” he added.

The health official further emphasized the importance of availing free immunization in relation to the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law.

Duque said the school-based immunization program for this year will run until September. (with details from Aiko Miguel)

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WHO warns against the spread of antimicrobial resistance

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 20th, 2019

A person holds pharmaceutical tablets and capsules in this picture illustration taken in Ljubljana September 18, 2013. REUTERS/SRDJAN ZIVULOVIC.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns against the spread of antimicrobial resistance around the world.

A recent UN report showed that 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases. Among the 700,000 there are around 230,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

“Drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and damage to the economy as catastrophic as the 2008-2009 global financial crisis,” the report reads.

On June 18, the WHO launched a campaign which aims to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events and costs. 

The AWaRe tool or Access, Watch, Reserve tool aims to make antibiotic use safer and more effective. The tool specifies which antibiotics to use for the most common and serious infections.

Dr. Hanan Balkhy, WHO Assistant-Director General for antimicrobial resistance said tackling antimicrobial resistance requires a careful balance between access and preservation

“The AWaRe tool can guide policy to ensure patients keep being treated, while also limiting use of the antibiotics most at risk of resistance,” she said.—AAC

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