Child with polio from Laguna to be brought to Metro Manila – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2019   •   329

MANILA, Philippines – A five-year old boy from Laguna, who was earlier confirmed as the country’s second case of polio, is set to be transferred to Metro Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

DOH Region 4A director Eduardo Janairo said this is to closely monitor the child’s health as he who is also suffering from other ailments.

The DOH earlier said the latest case of polio was reported to be from an immunocompromised child who is suffering from multiple pediatric diseases.

“Mula nung 2014 nabigyan (siya) ng anti-polio noon, lumabas na yung iba’t ibang sakit. May thalassemia siya, mayroong Hirschsprung, kaya naoperahan pa raw yun eh… nagtatae dahil yung bituka niya naka block eh,” Janairo said.

The boy has been discharged from the hospital and is able to walk after experiencing the onset of paralysis last August.

Janairo said there is a need to monitor the child’s condition as he is severely malnourished.

“Tsaka may ibang sakit kaya binabantayan siya ngayon. Kaya gusto ni (DOH) Sec. (Francisco Duque III) dalhin sa Maynila para maalagaan sa ospital,” he added.

The first case of polio in the Philippines was a three-year old girl from Lanao del Sur.

The DOH also said that poliovirus has been detected in water sewage samples taken from Manila and Davao during a regular environmental surveillance.

Its re-emergence in two different locations has prompted health officials to declare a polio outbreak after 19 years of being polio-free.

The DOH said there is no cure for polio and it can only be prevented with multiple doses of polio vaccines that have long been proven safe and effective.

A series of synchronized oral polio immunization program for children under the age of five in areas at risk beginning October.

The department also reminded the public anew to practice good personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly, use toilets, drink safe water and to cook food thoroughly to avoid contracting disease. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

DOH advises travelers to receive polio vaccine before leaving, entering PHL

Robie de Guzman   •   October 11, 2019

A Filipino health worker displays polio vaccines inside a government-run health center in Manila, Philippines, 08 October 2019 (issued 11 October 2019). EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is urging all travelers to get immunized against polio before leaving and entering the Philippines, following a declaration of an outbreak of polio in the country.

In an advisory, the DOH encouraged foreign nationals and returning Filipinos of all ages, who are intending to stay in the Philippines for four weeks and more to receive a single dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) not later than four weeks before their scheduled travel to the Philippines.

This is if the traveler has not received polio vaccination in the last 12 months.

Those embarking on an urgent travel within four weeks are urged to get a single dose of IPV at least by the time of departure as this will still “provide benefits, particularly for frequent travelers.”

The DOH also advised travelers leaving the Philippines to check the immunization requirements of the country they are going to, and if required, receive a dose of IPV before departure.

They are also encouraged to get their International Certificate of Vaccination from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) to serve as proof of their vaccination.

The advisory came weeks after the Philippines declared a type 2 polio outbreak following confirmed cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus.

The first case was a three-year old girl from Lanao del Sur while the second case was a five-year old boy from Laguna. The DOH also said the presence of poliovirus was also detected in collected sewage water samples from Manila and Davao.

The disease re-emerged 19 years after the country was declared polio-free.

Polio is a highly infectious viral disease which spreads rapidly. It can cause paralysis and, on rare occasions, can be fatal.

The DOH said there is no cure for polio and it can only be prevented with multiple doses of polio vaccines that have long been proven safe and effective.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), polio mainly affects children under five years of age, and vaccination is their only and best protection against the highly infectious disease.

But if immunization activities are poorly conducted and too few children have received the required three doses of polio vaccine, the agency said this can leave them “susceptible to poliovirus, either from vaccine-derived or wild polioviruses.”

Although the risk of international spread of polio is low, the WHO said that the of transmission and recirculation of the Polio virus within the Philippines is high due to low population immunity.

The World Health Organization stated that the risk of international spread of Polio is low, however, the risk of transmission and recirculation of the Polio virus within the Philippines is high due to low population immunity.

DOH signs IRR of Universal Health Care Law

Freema Gloria   •   October 10, 2019

Patients receive medical attention inside a hospital in the town of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province. EPA-EFE/JEOFFREY MAITEM

The Department of Health (DOH) has signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Universal Health Care Law.

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III led the signing of the IRR of the UHC law or the Republic Act 11223 which was witnessed by various health sectors.

The said historical event marks the implementation of the UHC law following its publication.

Under the Universal Health Care law, all Filipinos will be automatic members of Philhealth as direct or indirect contributors and will equally benefit from the no balance billing (NBB) once they have been admitted to the hospitals’ basic or ward accommodation.

Secretary Duque stated, the implementation of the said law will be gradual due to budget constraints.

At least P257 billion will be the required fund for its first-year implementation, yet only P167 billion has been approved.

By the year 2020 to 2024, the department will be needing more than P1- trillion fund for the operation of universal health care.

Duque added that the Philhealth premium rates will increase by 0.25% per year from its current 2.75%.

Philhealth, on its part, will consider giving new benefits for those who are paying their contributions which will be different from the beneficiaries of the Universal Health Care Act. — FSG (from the report of Nel Maribojoc)

DOH: Practice good hygiene to prevent meningococcemia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 9, 2019

Filipino students practice proper hand washing on the eve of the seventh Global Handwashing day in Manila, the Philippines, 14 October 2015. EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO

The Department of Health (DOH) has advised the public to practice good hygiene in order to prevent meningococcemia.

DOH Assistant Secretary of the Public Health Services Team Maria Rosario Vergeire has clarified there is still no meningococcemia outbreak in the country after two cases of the disease were confirmed in Laguna and Batangas.

However, Vergeire said early prevention is important to prevent the spread of disease.

“I urge the public to practice good personal hygiene such as regular handwashing, and covering of mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of this disease,” she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the department is still awaiting the results of five more suspected meningococcemia cases that are being examined.

According to Vergeire, meningococcemia is a rare but very serious disease.

She reiterated the importance of early diagnosis and immediate treatment with antibiotics if an individual is experiencing symptoms.

Symptoms of the disease include cough, headache, and sore throat, followed by upper respiratory symptoms, fever, chills, malaise, nausea, vomiting and skin rashes.

“It can quickly progress and manifest with lethargy, difficulty in breathing, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, seizures, hemorrhagic eruptions, purpuric and petechial skin lesion, and hypotension. In 15% of the cases, death can occur within a few hours,” according to the DOH statement.—AAC

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