COTABATO CITY—Ministry of Health (MOH) is taking steps to contain the rising cases of measles in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur (LDS).
Health authorities of conducted a three-day joint surveillance and monitoring on Sept. 21-23, 2023 to contain measles outbreak in the said province.
The monitoring aimed to determine the primary cause of the measles disease’s spread, resulting in the declaration of an outbreak in these areas.
A total of 29 patients were recorded on Sept. 21, based on data from the Integrated Provincial Health Office and City Health Office of Marawi.
This included 12 patients who tested positive for measles from LDS, 16 from Marawi City, and 1 deceased individual; all were admitted to the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC).
The monitoring showed that most of the patients were unvaccinated during the MR-OPV SIA vaccination campaign in May of this year.
Some rejected the vaccine due to misinformation and fear of possible side effects, while others claimed that it goes against Islamic beliefs, despite the declaration through a Fatwa from the Darul Ifta of Bangsamoro that the vaccine is halal and does not have destructive effects on the body.
MOH Health Education and Promotion Officer Saida Diocolano-Ali coordinated with several RHUs and APMC to conduct a focused group discussion (FGD) with health professionals and citizens from various municipalities of Lanao del Sur.
“The FGD was also conducted with an aim to raise awareness about the danger of measles and provide information on prevention and control measures,” Ali said.
“Engaging community members in an open dialogue the hopes to empower the residents to protect themselves and their family, ultimately working towards containing the outbreak and safeguarding public health,” she added.
She said the ongoing outbreak made the residents of the province the importance of visiting health centers, consulting health professionals, and partaking in vaccination campaigns.
The activity was spearheaded by the Health Promotion Unit and Communications Management Unit (HPU and CMU), Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases (EREID), and Health Education, Maintenance, and Support (HEMS) of the Ministry of Health-BARMM, in coordination with their provincial counterparts. (Kasan Usop, Jr./BIO with reports from MOH)