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Caceres Archbishop issues Pastoral Letter on Measles Outbreak

Dear Parishioners, Parents and LGU officials,

Peace of Jesus be with you all!

The measles outbreak in our country is the breaking news of our tri- media. Everyday we read in the newspapers, watch on TV and listen to the radio the disturbing gradual spread of the measle virus in our provinces, municipalities, barangays and sitios. We see shocking images of many affected children in crowded hospitals and clinics. We are saddened by the many reported deaths of our children, mostly from poor families and communities. As reported by Sec of Health, Dr Eduardo Duque , the registered deaths as of Feb 12, is NCR :18; Calabarzon:25; Central Luzon: 3; Western Visayas: 4; Northern Mindanao:5. In a press release of DOH-CHD Bicol, February 8,2019 it states that: “As of January 1 to February 2, 2019, records from Bicol Region revealed 54 new cases of measles with 2 laboratory confirmed cases. Reports show that Sorsogon has the highest number of measles cases at 21 cases, followed by Masbate – 12, Camarines Sur – 12, Albay – 5, and Camarines Norte – 3, and Catanduanes – 0.” We commend the tireless and strong efforts of our DOH-CHD Bicol in informing and raising awareness of our fellow Bicolanos on the growing number of measle cases in the region, and its campaign to parents to have their children immunized as soon as possible. The Bicol, DOH OIC - Regional Director, Dr. Ernie V. Vera assures us that: “The measles vaccines that we are using have been around since 2010 and there have been no reported deaths from the vaccines ever since. We urge the parents to trust the DOH because we review our medicines thoroughly to ensure that they are safe.” The Archdiocese of Caceres joins the DOH BICOL in appealing to parents to have their children vaccinated by going to the barangay health centers. Likewise rhe Archdiocese of Caceres enjoins cooperation of all government agencies, NGOs , Civil society, and Churches to work hand in hand for the success of the fight to contain and eventually eradicate the measles outbreak in the Bicol area in particular. Let not the unfounded fear of the vaccine affect the lives of our children. We commend Dr. Rey Millena, the DOH Provincial Director and the DOH-CHD Bicol health workers in all all levels for their tenacious and dedicated service in this fight against the measles outbreak in Camarines Sur. Jesus says:”Let the children come to me.” Let our children come to our health centers for protection and medical attention. O DIVINO ROSTRO and Our Lady of Penafrancia, our INA, protect us and our children from the measles outbreak! God bless you all!

In Jesus, +Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD Archbishop of Caceres Naga City, Cam Sur

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