The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. joined the Coalition for People’s Right to Health to organize a forum on the Dengvaxia issue on April 18, 2018 at the Center for Training and Education, Osmena Blvd., Cebu City.
The forum, “The Dengvaxia fiasco: what needs to be done?” was held in the light of public concern regarding the Dengvaxia issue which has been in the news for the past several months. More than 830,000 children were vaccinated with the vaccine in four regions in the country, including 152,000 in Cebu Province. A total of 41 vaccinated children have died.
Participants in the forum included professionals, students, urban poor settlers, and other residents from different sectors, and mothers of children given the vaccine.
The forum was held to shed light and to understand more deeply about what really happened, how it all started, why the previous Aquino government purchased the vaccines at the huge cost of P 3.5 billion when the efficacy was already questioned, what parents can do for their children who were vaccinated and may become sick, and other measures that must be done.
Dr. Eleanor A. Jara, a convenor of the national Coalition for People’s Right to Health was the resource person.
An open forum ensued where mothers of Dengvaxia recipients expressed their apprehensions and fears on what could happen to their children.
A petition was then read which in essence, called for justice for the victims vaccinated with Dengvaxia who died, and accountability for government officials responsible for purchase of the vaccines and the massive immunization program.
Following the forum, the participants marched to Fuente Osmena where a picket was held to dramatize the issue.