Press Release
March 10, 2010


Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on health and demography, renews her call for a "massive and sustained vaccination drive" to protect the people against preventable diseases, especially as high temperatures are causing more people to be prone to disease.

"The curative approach in medication is much more costly than the preventive approach. It must also be considered that many preventable diseases have lifelong consequences which range from hearing loss and speech defects to more severe ones such as brain abscess and meningitis," said Loren.

She added, "Many are having second thoughts about having their children vaccinated but the current situation, both global and local, refutes the practicality of belated action. Many kinds of diseases and strains of viruses have sprouted lately. Some have mutated into more deadly ones."

Loren cited the Pneumococcal Diseases, or PDs, which easily spread from person to person through droplets in air.

While PDs are vaccine-preventable, Loren said the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) is not included in the national immunization program of many countries such as the Philippines.

"Vaccination becomes even more vital because of the prevalent malnutrition in our country. Poor malnutrition and lack of vaccination puts the health of our children in peril. Clearly, we have to act swiftly and efficiently," said Loren.

The value of vaccination translates into health, social, and economic benefits for the community such that we must identify means and ways to improve vaccine coverage nationally and locally.

According to health authorities, battling PDs is crucial in achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child deaths under five years of age. Indeed, there is an in dire need to move fast to prevent PD and save lives.

"Pharmaceutical industry should be our partners in safeguarding the health of our citizens and in ensuring that the future of our country will remain bright and healthy," Loren concluded.

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