Looking beyond COVID, UP “Stop COVID Deaths” webinar to zero in on measles

| Written by Deina Blancaflor

The University of the Philippines (UP), in partnership with UP Manila National Institutes of Health (N.I.H.), National Telehealth Center (NTC), and cooperation with UP Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), invite you to join the fight against COVID-19.

As we enter the third year of our online “Stop COVID Deaths” (S.C.D.) community webinar series, we transition to broader discussions on how the pandemic has affected health outcomes beyond COVID-19. We will still maintain the title “STOP COVID DEATHS” but will expand our talks to C for “current COVID-19 problems”; O for “other outbreaks”; V for “viruses”; I for “infections”; and D for “disasters”— or C.O.V.I.D for short.

The S.C.D. Series levels up to take a closer look at other emerging health problems in the community while keeping an eye out for COVID-19 developments in the Philippines and the rest of the world.

This week, using a virtual grand rounds format, the “Stop COVID Deaths” webinar will discuss the case of a healthy eight-year-old honor student who, a month before admission, had sudden episodes of falling forward and her legs jerking uncontrollably.  The episodes would happen once or twice a day. Two weeks before admission, the family noticed that the child could not remember things. She was also unable to concentrate on her studies. The condition later progressed to difficulty walking and losing her ability to control her bowel movements. What could this be?

The medical team ran numerous tests and checked her history. They discovered that the child did not receive vaccination for measles, contracted the disease, and remained asymptomatic until four years later.

Many tend to think of measles as a mild disease and that natural immunity will follow an infection. This case shows otherwise. Measles in an unvaccinated child may cause severe complications even years later, resulting in untreatable conditions.

This Friday’s episode aims to uncover how the country is doing with routine vaccination against measles with this case study. What complications could arise for children who missed their vaccinations in the past few years? Can they still get a measles shot if they missed it during the pandemic? Did the pandemic make it more challenging to sustain measles vaccination coverage?

Titled “Batang Biglang Hindi Makalakad: Siryosohin Natin ang Tigdas,” this week’s “Stop COVID Deaths” webinar will be held on April 29, 2022, from 12 to 2 pm, focusing on the case of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) in an unvaccinated child at the UP-PGH.

The main presenter will be Dr. Marie Abigail R. Lim, Chief Resident of the Department of Pediatrics at the UP-PGH. At the same time, the discussant is Dr. Sally Andrea D. Gaspi, Chief Fellow of the Division of Pediatric Neurology, also at UP-PGH. Dr. Marissa Lukban, Chair of the UP-PGH Department of Pediatrics, will also be sharing her insights and reactions.

Dr. Adolfo D. Solis, President of the Child Neurology Society, Philippines, Inc., will deliver the opening remarks. Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla, Chancellor of UP Manila, will provide the synthesis and closing remarks.

Register here and catch our weekly live tweets and streams via the UP System Twitter Account and TVUP’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

The UP “Stop COVID Deaths” webinar series is the Philippines’ first and only frontline-focused medical webinar series. It pioneered the discussion, dissemination, and adoption of knowledge on COVID-19 treatment and management. Follow our accounts to stay connected with your credible online community.