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The Prince of Wales organises Measles-Rubella vaccination donation to the Phillippines

26th March 2014

The IHP signing ceremony

The IHP signing ceremony

The Prince of Wales has organised a dosage of five million measles-rubella vaccinations to be donated to the children of the Phillipinnes.

The donation comes after an outbreak of the virus since Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck the country in November last year causing devastation in the Philippines.

The first six weeks of 2014 saw over 3,691 confirmed measles cases reported in the Philippines, which compares to only 2,956 confirmed cases in the whole of 2013. The ongoing effects of Typhoon Yolanda that hit the country and wider South-East Asia in November 2013, killing over 6,000 people and displacing millions more has exacerbated the spread of measles across the Philippines.

At the time the typhoon struck, His Royal Highness and The Duchess of Cornwall were in India as part of their official overseas tour. Two days after the Haiyan hit the Philippines, The Prince visited the Serum Institute in Pune, which is the world's largest manufacturer of the vaccine.

During the visit, Cyrus Poonawalla, Founder of the SII, and Adar Poonawalla, Executive Director of the SII, offered to donate five million vaccines to a country of The Prince's choosing.

It was agreed the vaccinations would be delivered via International Health Partners, a charity His Royal Highness has been Patron of since 2004.

The Prince of Wales visits the Serum Institute in November 2013

The Prince of Wales visits the Serum Institute in November 2013

A Clarence House spokesperson said: "The Prince of Wales was very moved when he heard about the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, which developed during his visit to India in November 2013.

"After being informed of the offer of a donation by the Serum Institute of India to a cause of his choosing, The Prince was pleased to charge his charities, International Health Partners and the British Asian Trust, to ensure the donation would be part of the ongoing international response to Typhoon Yolanda.

"The Prince was delighted that the Serum Institute was able to make such a generous donation to this important and urgent cause, and he was very pleased that the institute and the two charities have been able to work so effectively with the Philippines Department of Health, the World Health Organization and UNICEF to bring about this agreement."

Children aged 9 to 59 months are most at risk from measles and therefore will be the principal target of the mass immunisation effort.

It is estimated that the vaccine donation will protect 5 million under-five children against measles, and will help reduce the risk of premature death caused by serious measles complications.

Dr Enrique T. Ona, Secretary of Health, Republic of Philippines said: “The country joins me in thanking His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, and the Serum Institute for this gift, a very generous life-saving donation”. Dr Ona added that the country also recognises the not-for-profit relief and development organisation, International Health Partners, who responded on the very day the need for the vaccination program was identified."