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DOH: even a little water can serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2019

The Department of Health (DOH) has raised concerns during the ongoing water shortage in Metro Manila and nearby areas especially with the increasing dengue cases in the country.

The recent report of DOH Epidemiology Bureau has recorded 40,614 dengue cases dengue cases from January 1 to March 2 which is 68% higher compared to the same period last year.

According to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, the water collected by residents can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes especially if it is not used immediately.

Duque encourages the public to use the 4-S strategy:

  • Search and destroy breeding places
  • Secure self-protection
  • Seek early consultation
  • Support spraying to prevent impending outbreak

“Pwedeng takpan ng plastic, talian sa may labi ng mga lalagyan at siguraduhin na ito’y hindi mapamugaran ng mga lamok. Doon ang kiti- kiti ay dadami, magiging lamok at sila ay magkakalat ng sakit sa dengue, [They can cover it with plastic and ensure that it will not become breeding grounds for mosquitoes because it can cause dengue],” he added. —Aileen Cerrudo

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DOH warns vs testimonials on herbal cure for cancer

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Stock photo from Pixabay

The Department of Health (DOH) warns against testimonials circulating on Facebook about herbal supplements curing cancer.

According to DOH cancer program manager Clarito Cairo, testimonials are weak evidence so they are not considered acceptable.

The DOH made the statement due to reports that some cancer patients preferred to used herbal supplements and stopped taking their medication.

Cairo added that there aren’t enough claim to support that herbal supplements can help in curing cancer.

“There are anecdotes saying that they are proven safe and effective, there’s not enough evidence. And then some patients would go back to their oncologists since they have developed complications,” Cairo said.

A recent study showed that patients using Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) such as herbal supplements had worse survival than patients who did not use CAM.

“Unless we know what’s in [the herbal supplements], I would recommend patients avoid using them during radiation because [certain supplements] could interfere with treatment,” according to Dr. Nina Sanford, one of the authors of the study. — Aileen Cerrudo

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DOJ clears Ubial on Dengvaxia case

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2019

Former Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed a criminal complaint against former Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial on the controversial Dengvaxia case.

Ubial was one of the Department of Health former and present officials who were accused of being liable in the deaths of school children who got inoculated with the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

In a seven-page resolution signed by Assistant State Prosecutor Claire Eufracia Pagayanan, the DOJ said it found no probable cause to charge Ubial with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide based on the complaint filed by former Health Secretary Janette Garin.

The resolution reads, “considering that Garin failed to show the existence of the corpus delicti of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide, the complaint against Ubial shall be dismissed for lack of probable cause.”

The DOJ explained that in order to establish Ubial’s liability on the crime charged there must be a direct causal connection between such negligence and the reported deaths.

The resolution further pointed out that “Garin failed to name a single victim who reportedly died as a result of Ubial’s alleged negligent approval and implementation of community-based Dengue immunization program.”

In her complaint, Garin stressed that the Department of Health (DOH) implemented a school-based dengue immunization program but, when Ubial took over, there was a reckless decision to have it expanded into a community-based program which resulted in the reported deaths.

“Deaths were reported soon after the implementation of Sec. Ubial’s Community-Based Dengue Immunization Program. It must be emphasized that the deaths started during Sec. Ubial’s term as DOH Secretary and afterwards,” Garin pointed out.

Garin further said that the DOH, during her time, preferred the school-based dengue immunization program “because the physical and organizational structure of such a program is already in place considering that Dengvaxia is already the sixth (6th) vaccine introduced in schools.”

It can be recalled that on February 11, the DOJ inked a resolution of finding probable cause to charge Garin and nine other Health officials on the Dengvaxia vaccine mess. – Maris Federez

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Duterte admin mulls over creation of Department of Water

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

The Duterte Administration is studying the creation of the Department of Water to mitigate the severe effects of El Niño and water shortage.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet members discussed the possibility of forming a Department of Water during the 36th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Monday night (April 1).

READ: El Niño damage to PH agriculture P4.35B

“A roadmap was presented, which included immediate, medium and long-term interventions, such as making an intensive campaign for the conservation of water and energy,” Panelo said.

Also discussed during the meeting, according to Panelo, is the formation of the Department of Disaster Resilience, dredging of waterways, replacing tunnels and aqueducts, installing water tank systems in all Department of Health hospitals and providing funding for the establishment of water treatment plants.

He said this will synchronize the actions of all government agencies and prevent the water interruption from happening again.—Aileen Cerrudo with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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