DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Department of Health Davao Region (DOH-XI) has made an appeal to the public to the children against diphtheria.
The statement released on Thursday, September 26, DOH-XI expressed alarm over the death of a 10-year old girl in Pandacan, Manila and the reported slight increase of cases of diphtheria this year.
Data from the health department showed of 167 cases of diphtheria and the recorded 40 deaths caused by the said disease from January to December this year.
“The Department of Health Davao Center for Health Development (DOH DCHD) recognizes the concerns of the public regarding the news of a suspected diphtheria case which caused the death of a Grade 4 student in Manila,” the DOH XI said.
The agency explained that diphtheria is an infectious bacterial disease that is spread from person to person by respiratory droplets through coughing and sneezing.
“It is usually characterized by sore throat, low fever and swollen glands, and in severe cases, causes inflammation of the heart muscle and damage in the peripheral nerves,” the public statement stressed.
DOH-XI also pointed out that diphtheria along, with other infectious diseases such as Pertussis (whooping cough) and Tetanus, can be prevented through immunization given in three doses of DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus) Vaccine at ages six weeks old, 10 weeks old, and 14 weeks old.
“We strongly urge parents and caregivers to ensure that their children receive the complete dose of all recommended vaccines particularly for the first year of life. Now more than ever, the importance of protecting our infants and children against vaccine-preventable diseases remains to be our ultimate goal,” the DOH-XI said.
“With the DOH campaign ‘Back to bakUna, Una sa Lahat Bakuna’, we appeal to everyone to work together and ensure that every child receives the complete dose of vaccines on time,” the statement added. (davaotoday.com)