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Batanes: only measles-free province in Phl -DOH

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, 11 March 2019 01:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Batanes is the only province in the Philippines that is still free from measles, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo cited the province’s geographical location as among the likely reasons why it remains measles-free.

Batanes is northernmost province in the Philippines situated in the Cagayan Valley region.

“Batanes is isolated and there is also less traffic there so it remains free from measles. We hope they can maintain that,” Domingo said.

DOH record from January 1 to March 2, 2019 showed that the cases of measles infection in the country have reached 16,349 with 261 deaths. Around 3,374 cases were reported during the same period in 2017, without deaths.

The most number of measles infection were reported from Calabarzon, Metro Manila and Central Luzon with 3,875; 3,617; 2,330 cases, respectively. These are the three regions where measles outbreak was first declared.

The last provinces to report measles cases are Catanduanes with one case, and Tawi-Tawi with 11 cases, according to DOH data.

Domingo added that as of March 6, the DOH was already able to hit half of its targeted 3,783,985 children aged six to 59 months.

“Our coverage has already reached 45 percent. We are hopeful that we can vaccinate all of the target children soon,” he maintained.

The Health Official added that the DOH and local governments have scaled up vaccination of eligible children to keep measles at bay.

The DOH has also started door-to-door supplemental immunization and intensified routine vaccination at health centers in the hopes of controlling the measles outbreak by April or May.

The agency has repeatedly called on parents and caregivers to get their child vaccinated to protect them from measles and other diseases.

Aside from measles, the country is also grappling with spiking dengue cases which has reached 36,664 with 140 deaths as of February 2019. — Robie de Guzman

Dengue cases hit 36,000; death toll reaches 140

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DOH limits per patient’s watcher in hospitals hit by water shortage

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 06:55 PM

A father watches over his child at a public hospital

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is looking to strictly implement a ‘one watcher, one patient’ policy in hospitals hit by the Manila Water supply shortage.

During a press conference at the National Kidney Institute of the Philippines (NKTI) in Quezon City on March 14, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said a confined patient would only be allowed to have one visitor or watcher to minimize water use.

Duque appealed to patients and their kin to bear with the policy as hospital managements are prioritizing water use for critical care.

He added that this is just temporary given the current situation in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal Province.

Duque said they have identified five hospitals that are affected by the Manila Water’s supply issues. These are NKTI, the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig, the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

Manila Water has earlier assured to prioritize hospitals in its distribution of water supply.

READ: Duque assures enough water supply in hospitals amid water shortage

Duque said hospitals can still sustain their current level of operations on just 50 percent of their average daily consumption.

Water is important for hospitals, such as the NKTI for its hospital operations and dialysis sessions.

READ: NKTI to use other dialysis method to cope with water shortage

NKTI earlier said they will be using peritoneal dialysis method which only requires around six liters of water, compared with hemodialysis which consumes 100 liters of water per session. — Robie de Guzman

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

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 04:34 PM

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 lists diseases that contaminated water brings

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 08:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Tainted water or anything that has been contaminated with bacteria and other harmful organisms must not be consumed by humans due to risks of contracting diseases, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

When in doubt if water is clean or when a water pipe leaks, DOH said, water must be boiled two to three minutes prior to consumption.

DOH also does not recommend drinking urine, rainwater or sea water as these may contain natural and chemical waste materials which can harm one’s health.

Water sourced from deep wells can only be consumed after boiling, or when the deep well was dug far from a residential area.

“It is safe when a community, our houses are from the sources of drinking water. Houses should also have septic tanks where human wastes should go. There shouldn’t be contamination from the source of the drinking water,” DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Eric Domngo said.

He added that drinking contaminated water might cause a person to develop Hepatitis-A, Cholera, Diarrhea and Typhoid fever, which are among the water-borne diseases.

A person who seldom takes a bath or washes hands can also contract several diseases such as boils and measles.  

“Hand washing with soap and water really prevents a lot of diseases and transmission of diseases like sore eyes, measles and even chicken pox. Hand washing plays a big role to prevent transmission of diseases, keep clean and sanitize like using alcohol,” Domingo said.

Thoroughly washing ingredients like meat, fish and vegetables before cooking is also essential to prevent food poisoning, he added.

When it comes to personal hygiene, Domingo said, enough water and detergent must also be used in washing clothes.

However, use of too much fabric softener must be avoided to prevent body odor or even dermatitis, especially if clothes are not rinsed properly.

The Health Department also advises the public to save and store clean water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning.

Domingo added that water secreted by plants, such as cactus, bamboo and banana should only be used for survival.

He added that water is also very important in conducting medical operations and dialysis, and in maintaining cleanliness in hospitals to avoid infectious diseases which may lead to death. – Robie de Guzman / Aiko Miguel

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