Back to Home | Back to Breaking News

Loren on measles outbreak: ‘Where does the Cheaper Medicines Law come in?’

February 23, 2010

PRESIDENT GLORIA ARROYO SHOULD KEEP ATTENDING TO THE COUNTRY’S PROBLEMS – AMONG THE MOST CURRENT ARE POWER AND WATER SHORTAGE AND NOW A MEASLES OUTBREAK – INSTEAD OF GOING AROUND TRYING TO KEEP THE POLITICAL POWER OF HER FAMILY IN PLACE.
“Just because she’s what’s traditionally called a ‘lame-duck President,’ must she act like one?” Nacionalista Party vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda said on Monday, shortly after learning about a measles outbreak reported by the Department of Health in Camarines Sur and six areas in Metro Manila.
The timing of such pressing problems was unfortunate, she said, with government officials distracted by the electoral campaign and candidates always under suspicion of merely politicking whenever they speak out about legitimate issues.
“But I have to speak out,” she said. “So in this measles outbreak, where now does the Cheaper Medicines Law come in?”
She was referring to reports that the government could only afford to give poor children, who are most threatened by the disease, one free vaccination shot each, without the required follow-up, or booster, shots.
One of Legarda key advocacies is affordable healthcare and medicines for the poor.
“I understand that the DOH is not expecting it to blow up into an epidemic,” she said. “But we can never be too careful. With the expected rise in temperatures because of El Nino, the DOH has been warning the public of a rise in heat-caused skin diseases. There’s really a lot that the government has to do – this one and the next.”