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Nograles to DOH : Focus on profiling of Dengvaxia recipients



The chairman of the House of Representatives' appropriations committee on Wednesday said the Department of Health (DOH) should concentrate on completing the profiling of the Dengvaxia recipients first to pinpoint the seronegative patients or those who never had dengue.

During the appropriations' panel briefing on the issues relative to the Dengvaxia vaccine, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles said these patients, who would be exposed to higher risks of severe dengue, should be saved and prioritized for state-sponsored medical treatment.

Nograles said the DOH should "re-prioritize' items in its proposed supplemental budget for Dengvaxia vaccinees.

"I think you have to recast. You have to re-prioritize this," Nograles told Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during the briefing.

The supplemental budget would be sourced from the PHP1.16 billion refund given to the Philippine government by Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur earlier this year.

Based on the DOH proposal, the supplemental budget would fund the following programs and activities: distribution of medical kits to Dengvaxia vaccinees for PHP270 million; proposed active case finding (project based profiling/ navigation of vaccinees) for PHP300 million; medical assistance program for Dengvaxia patients for PHP84 million; outpatient care package for PHP776 million; and deployment of nurse - health education and promotion officers for PHP67 million.

Nograles said the budget for the medical kits—which would include a thermometer, two bottles of multi-vitamins, and a mosquito repellant--should be realigned to the active profiling of vaccinees.

Filane Mikee Cervantes / PNA