The Department of Health (DOH) reported Friday a “minimal” increase in the number of measles cases in Palawan.

DOH Palawan chief Dr. Peter Curameng said that in February this year, they recorded 138 cases of measles which rose to 182 on August 4 with the addition of 44 new patients.

He said since January, five had already died because of the viral infection.

He said Coron has 30 cases, El Nido has 23; Bataraza has 22; Culion and Brooke’s Point have 13 each, and Puerto Princesa City has 20.

Curameng said despite the increase in cases, the measles affectation has not spread out of the municipalities where they were recorded.

“So far, kahit tumaas ay minimal na lang ‘yon. Hindi naman siya kumalat. Dumami lang ang cases natin sa Coron, sa ibang lugar ay may pailan-ilan lang pero hindi naman siya talaga dumami kasi ang mga bata naman ay nabakunahan para sa tigdas. Ang mga nagkaroon lang ng tigdas ay ang mga hindi nabakunahan. Preventable naman kasi ito [tigdas],” Curameng said.

Curameng said vaccines are available in all health centers in the province from the DOH.

He said the rise in measles cases remain because many parents in cultural communities do not believe in having their children immunized against the viral infection.

Curameng said parents should not be scared to have their children receive vaccination.

“Naibibigay naman natin ang bakuna kaya lang may iba talaga na hindi napapabakunahan ang mga anak nila. Ang iba ay nasa kaugalian na, ang iba naman ay ayaw dahil sa religious belief. Pero sana ngayon ay pabakunan na nila ang anak nila kasi proven naman na napo-protektahan nito ang mga nagkakasakit,” Curameng said.

The DOH recently conducted a massive information campaign against measles, he said, and established centers in strategic locations to make vaccination services accessible to residents.

He assured that efforts to curb the increase in measles cases in Palawan are continuing.

“Tuloy-tuloy ang gamutan, maganda naman na minimal lang ang itinaas at curable naman kasi ito. Maliban na lang kung may komplikasyon na,” he said.

On August 14, a ceremonial school-based immunization campaign to prevent different diseases will kick off at the Puerto Princesa City Pilot Elementary School, he said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.