31,000 Children in Philippines Vaccinated with Help of NGOs

( [email protected] ) Mar 13, 2004 03:00 PM EST

MAP International, Merck, and Children International vaccinated 31,000 children in the blighted community of Quezon City, in Metro Manila, Philippines against Hepatitis B.

Unfortunately, the Philippines is one of the countries with highest incidence of hepatitis B. According to MAP International, Hepatitis B is a potentially fatal liver disease, one of the most common infectious diseases (known to be higher than HIV) in the world and the ninth most common cause of death world-wide and the second major cause of cancer, with tobacco being the first.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 350 million people are chronically infected and are at high risk of serious illness and death from cirrhosis of the liver and primary liver cancer, diseases that kill 500,000 to 750,000 persons each year.

The hepatitis B virus represents a major public health problem, particularly in regions of South East Asia and the Western Pacific, where 75 percent of the world’s chronic carriers of hepatitis B reside in these regions.

Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., thanked MAP, Merck and Children International “for your collaborative support to the city’s expanded immunization program.” Belmonte described the project as “instrumental to the effort of providing thousands of poor children good health to enable them to grow into a happy and responsible citizen.”

MAP (Medical Assistance Programs) International is a Christian-based medical center that provides health and hope for people living in the world’s poorest communities. MAP's three-fold mission is to provide essential medicines, prevent and eradicate disease, and promote community health development. MAP's international programs are eliminating the causes of sickness and disease by providing free medicines and medical care, improving water supplies and food production and establishing community directed health education and training.