Philippines: Measles Outbreak Emergency appeal n° MDRPH032

This appeal seeks a total amount of CHF 2 million to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support Philippines Red Cross (PRC) to respond to the current measles outbreaks across the Philippines from March until September 2019. The number of measles cases continues to increase particularly in National Capital Region and isolated provinces. Health facilities and public health institutions are overwhelmed, due to influx of active measles cases particularly among children aged six months to five years.

Following the emergency phase, IFRC plans to support PRC with longer-term actions to address the issue of low routine vaccination rates across the Philippines. Activities will include social mobilization, health promotion and communitybased surveillance. This longer-term plan will be implemented from October 2019 to December 2021 and will be incorporated into the IFRC Country Operational plan, and IFRC seeks support for this longer-term action. Further information will be available in the emergency plan of action (EPoA) in the coming days.

The crisis and the Red Cross Red Crescent response to date

6 February 2019: The Department of Health (DOH) declared a measles outbreak in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Region 3 (Central Luzon).

7 February 2019: DOH announced that the measles outbreak had spread to more areas in Luzon and Visayas in CALABARZON,
Region 6 (Western Visayas) and Region 7 (Central Visayas),
Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) and Region 10 (Northern Mindanao).

12 February 2019: IFRC activated CHF 181,417 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to support PRC in providing assistance to most affected vulnerable population.

2 March 2019: Since January 2019, there have been 16,349 cases of measles reported nationwide, with 261 deaths recorded.

The operational strategy


The number of cases of measles has been increasing in the Philippines over the past several years, but since late 2018 there has been a dramatic increase in cases nationally. There has been 261 deaths between 1 January and 2 March 2019 in comparison to 202 deaths in 2018. Between 2017 and 2018, there was a 547 per cent increase of measles cases reported nationwide.