Philippines: Measles Outbreak - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF n° MDRPH032 (12 February 2019)

Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Cases of measles have been on the increase in the Philippines over the past several years, there have been outbreaks, but they have been mainly individual and isolated. From 2017 to 2018, measles cases rose nationwide by about 550 per cent above the normal average. During 2018, 21,812 measles cases were reported, with 202 deaths, most of them children. Poor immunization coverage is broadly agreed by health specialists to be the root cause of the outbreak. The WHO has reported that immunization rates were well below the target of 95 per cent and decreasing. In 2016, the rate was about 75 per cent but fell to close to 60 per cent in 2018. Over 2.4 million children under five are estimated to be at current risk of measles.

On 6 February 2019, the Department of Health (DoH) declared a measles outbreak in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Region 3 (Central Luzon). On 7 February, 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). Unconfirmed reports from DoH report around 72 deaths among more than 2,000 cases of measles nationwide. According to San Lazaro Hospital Epidemiology Department2 , there are 1,187 reported suspected measles cases in Metro Manila since January 2019, with 55 deaths. On 5 February 2019, at least 248 children and 21 adults were being treated for measles in the hospital. Most of the confirmed deaths are children aged three months to four years old. Cities in NCR with the most cases are: Manila, Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Navotas, Parañaque, Taguig, Pasay, and Malabon.