Former World Health Org director says Aquino's Dengvaxia statement "disturbing", "false" - News Spy

Former World Health Org director says Aquino's Dengvaxia statement "disturbing", "false"

former World Health Organization director Susan Pineda Mercado and former President Benigno Aquino III, photo compiled from Google
"It is inconsistent for President Aquino to say that governments role is "to calm people down" while he did just the opposite. Using a speculative mathematical twist he has scared the public into thinking that we could have as many as 2.8 million cases of dengue."

A former World Health Organization director Susan Pineda Mercado, in her Facebook page pointed that the former President Benigno Aquino III's statements on Dengvaxia, particularly his statistics on Dengue cases in the country, were disturbing and not based on facts.

"I find it very disturbing that President Aquino opened his statement yesterday with data that borders on the absurd. He said that there was an increase in dengue cases by 100% in Region 3 and 5 and 1,409.5% in Region 8. "What is frightening here is, if there are an estimated 200,000 cases of dengue each year, and it is possible for them to increase 14 times like what happened in Region 8, the number of those who may potentially be infected is 2.8 million," she said.

Then Mercado said that the real facts differ from what Aquino said.

"A quick search will show that the entire Western Pacific Region (including China, Fiji, Viet Nam and other countries with dengue problems) with a total population of 1.9 billion people only reported 500,000 cases in 2016. (WHO Western Pacific Region Dengue Fact Sheet) Students of public health will quickly point out that you cannot take an increased incidence rate of dengue in a LOCALITY and multiply it by the NATIONAL number of cases," Mercado, who was assigned in the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WPRO), said.

She explained that mosquitoes can only live for 2-3 days, and they can only fly for 400 meters. So an outbreak is usually localized.

" Is this faulty statistic the justification for buying 3.0 billion worth of vaccines - at phenomenal speed - that had never been tested in a population? No, we cannot possibly be in any imaginable situation where we would have 2.8 million cases of dengue," she said.

She said that no country in this region ever had a number of cases close to 2.8 million.

"Viet Nam, has always had the largest number of cases, and at its peak it was close to a million cases."

She said that Aquino's statements were an insultto the publich health community.

"With due respect, that opening statement was alarmist, cannot be backed up by epidemiological modeling and is yet another insult to the intelligence of the public health community in this country."

The former president appeared before the Senate Hearing on Dengvaxia three days ago to asnwer allegations.

His primary defense on the controversial issu is that his administration acted in good faith.

Over 830,000 school children have been administered with the drug, which turned out to be hazardous, and 3.5 billion pesos was spent by the government on it in 2016.

Meanwhile the Justice Department, and the Senate acting separately, are investigating on the issue.

Source: Susan Pineda Mercado