Editorial: Winning back trust

"IT TAKES 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." -- Warren Buffett

What makes it worst this time is that the trust destroyed was the outcome of the greed of the insatiable.

Yes, this is about Dengvaxia and the Department of Health's problem now of convincing parents to have their children immunized against totally unrelated diseases, like the ubiquitous but dangerous measles.

This Dengvaxia scandal has to be settled once and for all and the guilty held accountable.

It is unthinkable that sheer greed of a few had placed 800,000 children's lives at risk. Government should by now remove the silken gloves it has been using and let the full force of the law crash on those who have pushed for this vaccination program. If indeed, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has had a hand as well during his stint in the House of Congress, then let him face the consequences of his action.

The time for pussyfooting is over. Government has to strike and strike hard if only to show that it truly cares for the most vulnerable, in this case, the 800,000 children. Moreso that now it scuttles the gain of vaccination against measles.

While more common among children than dengue, measles causes complications that can endanger the lives of children and even adults.

Most common complications of measles are diarrhea and ear infections that can lead to permanent hearing loss.

Severe complications, however, include pneumonia and encephalitis, which can both be fatal.

As many as one of every 20 children who has contracted measles gets pneumonia, and it is pneumonia which kills, not the measles itself. While one in a thousand may develop encephalitis that can lead to convulsions or render the child deaf or with mental disability.

Being a virus, measles is easily spread, thus vaccination is a necessity.

The least that the DOH can do at this time is to go full-blast with its information and dissemination campaign to allay fears against all vaccinations.

But this should not mean that the dirty hands behind the Dengvaxia scandal will be allowed to go scot-free, unpunished.
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