Thursday, July 14, 2016

WILL I SAY YES OR NO TO DENGUE VACCINATION?

July is a critical month for me.  I remember spending my 7th month in the hospital last year for some mysterious infection, that up to now, I have no knowledge of what really hit me. And its July again, so my being a hypochondriac mom is being magnified, 10x!!! 

So when I received an invite to this event, “Allied Against Dengue”, I did not hesitate and confirmed right away.  Any information to shoo away any disease and keep my family healthy, is a welcome treat.  I am open to digest in new things related to health.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Philippines, Inc. announced on July 12, 2016, that it has joined forces with other organizations in the Philippines including the Department of Health, Philippine Pharmacists Association. Mercury Drug Corporation, SmartParenting.com.ph and CNN Philippines in a united effort to support the nation to defeat dengue.  Allied Against Dengue was created as a non-profit open platform with the aim to empower healthcare providers, organizations and communities; and reduce the impact of dengue on the nation in a holistic manner from prevention and control to management.

HEATHER PELIER, GENERAL MANAGER OF GSK CONSUMER HEALTHCARE

DR. LYNDON LEE SUY, DIRECTOR III - DISEASE PREVENTION AND
CONTROL BUREAU, DOH
DR. SALLY GATCHALIAN, VP PHILIPPINE PEDIATRIC SOCIETY
CALPOL MOM, JOLINA MAGDANGAL
BLOGGER MOM ROWENA WENDY LEI
Dengue is prevalent in Southeast Asia and in the Philippines, the disease outbreak is spreading to more areas and impacting more lives.  In 2015 there were 200,415 reported Dengue Fever cases, a 60% increase over 2014 which had 121,000 cases.  With the disease growing rapidly across the country, empowerment is the most effective tool to combat it.


Allied Against Dengue seeks to curb the incidence growth rate and ultimately, make a real difference to the lives of Filipinos. The coalition strategy will include:
-    Distribution of 50,000 DOH primers to at least 5 public schools in dengue hotspots in Metro Manila
-    Distribution of 15,000 leaflets to 1,000 pediatricians and general practitioners
-    Education of proper dengue fever prevention and management to 20 health centers for Barangay outreach programs
-    Implementation of Continuous Pharmacy Education Program in identified chapters targeting 200 pharmacists
-    Education and recruitment of at least 1000 Allies Against Dengue through employee engagement, online and on ground activations

I agree, wholeheartedly with the information dissemination campaign of this coalition.  Everyone has a right to be informed.  But I guess, we have to do more than that.  The LGUs should continue with their “clean up drive” of each and every barangay.  Schools must continue to get rid of stagnant water within their premises.  They should also encourage children to wear long pants, long sleeves, and apply mosquito repellants.


During the question and answer portion of the Ally Against Dengue event, a mommy blogger asked the experts regarding the rolling-out of the Dengue vaccine.  She asked about its ball park price, I was surprised with the DOT rep’s reply, “we cannot answer that, it is the pharmaceutical company who can give you that”.  Hmm... the DOT cannot even quote an average price, when they themselves started vaccinating grade 4 school kids from the public schools from April to June 2016.  Why hide the price?  Another mommy asked the panelists for side effects of Dengvaxia.  Their reply, “every vaccine has side effects.”  They reiterated their belief that the benefits of the vaccine outweighs the flu-like side effects.  They said that having your children vaccinated will combat the four strains of Dengue.  But again.... as a mom, I am not convinced.

Especially when I read that while the vaccine could lower the number of cases of dengue initially, it could later increase the severity of disease for those who get it.  I am also questioning the rush of administering the vaccine to public school pupils, when even the World Health Organization’s report on the vaccine is yet to be released.  Pardon me... but I do not like the notion of having my children become guinea pigs for this vaccine.


As a mom.... and as an Ally Against Dengue, I will:

-    Search and destroy any possible breeding area of dengue-breeding mosquitoes.  Hope the moms in the neighborhood do their part too, because it is pointless to clean the vicinity of my house, when my neighbor’s house is infested with the Aedes mosquito – which can travel up to 300 meters in search for their possible prey
-    follow self protection measures like discouraging my children to wear dark colored cloths; not allowing them to stay outdoors too much; buy citronella plant, and stack up on mosquito coils and insect repellants;
-    seek immediate consultation if there is fever in the family running for 2 days

-    keep in mind Dra. Gatchalian's advice of regarding dengue.  Treatment should be focused on relieving the patient’s dengue symptoms.  Paracetamol can be given to bring down the fever.  But not aspirin or ibuprofen because these medicines can increase the risk of bleeding.



For more information on Allied Against Dengue and how to be an ally, contact 1800-14441-0884 / 1800-8908-8275 or ph.customer-relations@gsk.com