MERGE Muslim leaders and Bacolod City Police Office officer-in-charge Senior Supt. Henry Biñas at a meeting, yesterday* (SGG photo)

‘Measles alarming’
Cases up by 3,333% in January

Measles cases in Negros Occidental increased by an alarming 3,333 percent in January this year compared to the same period last year, triggered by the Dengvaxia controversy that has scared parents off from having their children vaccinated, Provincial Health Officer Ernell Tumimbang said yesterday.

The Department of Health ha sdeclared a measles outbreak in Western Visayas, that includes Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, along with other areas in the Visayas and Luzon.

“We are expanding the outbreak from Metro Manila to other regions as cases have increased in the past weeks, and to strengthen surveillance if there are new cases and alert mothers and caregivers to be more vigilant,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque said. moremoremore

Bacolod ups surveillance

The Bacolod City Health Office is intensifying its surveillance of measles cases in Bacolod City following an outbreak of the contagious disease nationwide with Negros Occidental recording the highest number of cases in Western Visayas.

Dr. Grace Tan, head of Environmental Sanitation Division of the CHO, yesterday said they started their measles immunization activity last week of October to November. The CHO conducted a house-to-house campaign for the target group who are less than 5-years-old and they have extended the immunization activity up to December, she said.

Tan also said that after they have conducted school-based immunization, they will be mapping out areas of those who have not been vaccinated and those who do not yet have complete immunization. They are also trying to convince those who have not been immunized to get vaccinated. moremoremore


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Coalition eyed to oppose Baciwa,
Prime Water joint venture project

Multi-sectoral groups in Bacolod City are forming a coalition to oppose the joint venture project between the Bacolod City Water District and Prime Water that they believe will result in the increase of water rates.

Representatives of the Social Action Center, the Freedom from Debt Coalition, Gabriela-Negros, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Negros, and Power Watch held a press conference yesterday to oppose the project that they believe will lead to the privatization of Baciwa and will not guarantee that the services of the water utility firm will improve.

SAC director, Fr. Chris Gonzales, yesterday said they want to know why Baciwa needs to enter into a joint venture that is now in the second stage of negotiation with a private company, to improve its services.