With the growing concern over measles infections on the island, the Philippine Consulate General in the country has been keen on monitoring cases regarding this, particularly among the Filipino community residing on the island, as well as those flying to Hong Kong for work.
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Previously, there has been an advisory released by a local health agency based in Hong Kong regarding the need for foreign domestic workers entering the country to get vaccinated with MMR as one of the primary requirements for employment in the country. The MMR vaccine which is a known preventive measure to combat the spread of measles in an area.
Hong-Kong Bound Filipino Domestic Workers Urged to Get Measles Vaccine
The Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) has given its recommendation to Manila that overseas Filipino works (OFWs) flying to Hong Kong for work for the first time should get MMR vaccinations, as shared in a report by Hong Kong News.
According to Labour Attaché Jalilo Dela Torre, the PCG in Hong Kong has already submitted its recommendation to have all Hong Kong-bound workers (not only domestic workers) to get vaccinations against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), and to make this part of the pre-employment medical checks for newly hired workers.
The proposal had been supported by the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection, which also recommended vaccination against measles, especially for this particular group. However, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) had yet issued a response to the proposal.
In line with this proposal, Philippine Consulate officials will have a technical working group meeting over the issue with the Hong Kong Government this month, part of which would be the cost issue of the vaccination. However, Consul Paul Saret, head of the Philippine Consulate General-Assistance to Nationals Section, believes that this cost should be shouldered by the consulate.
Earlier, the consulate assured Filipino nationals that the health department was only “advising” vacationing foreign domestic workers to get vaccinated. However, Saret also mentioned that the advice to get vaccinated also applies to those who had not been vaccinated against measles.
As of late, there have already been six people from the Philippines who tested positive for measles in Hong Kong.
With the housing conditions in Hong Kong, and its highly populated communities, it’s important to address such issues as effectively as possible to cut on higher costs of hospitalization among citizens, which the government has to ultimately shoulder in the long run.