About 530 dengue patients are now confined at Benguet General Hospital from January to July this year.
According to Dr. Maria Imelda Ulep, chief of Hospital 3 of Benguet General Hospital, the hospital has a capacity of up to 150 beds only.
“Since we are receiving a large volume of dengue-infected patients, our main building has become congested. So, we are asking for assistance from Red Cross to establish field tents,” said Dr. Ulep.
Thus, field tents were put up in a gymnasium in La Trinidad with the help of the local government of Benguet and the Philippine Red Cross.
They also established basic health care units and dengue fast lanes.
Dr. Ulep says the tents can accommodate 60 to 100 patients.
So far, only 13 patients are confined inside the field tent, 10 of them are under observation.
“My platelet fluctuated to 5-50 since Tuesday last week. I had muscle pains and rashes,” said dengue pateint Michelle Calacal.
“That, I didn’t know. It was morning of Sunday when I experienced headache. At six in the evening on that day, I lost my appetite,” narrated Lito Philip, dengue patient.
Based on data from Provincial Health Office, there are a total of 3, 488 dengue cases in Cordillera Administrative Region. The highest number recorded is in Benguet with 1, 493; followed by Baguio City with 1,199 cases.
For this reason, DOH-Benguet is continuously encouraging the public to wear long sleeves, use mosquito nets and apply insect repellant and observe measures to prevent dengue infection.
by Maris Federez | Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning on the alarming increase of dengue cases in some parts of Asia.
In an advisory released on Wednesday (June12), the WHO said several Asian countries are experiencing unusually high numbers of dengue cases for this time of year.
With the rainy season approaching, the WHO is calling for action to minimize illness and deaths from dengue.
“Dengue is one of the fastest-spreading mosquito-borne diseases. Worldwide, the incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the past 50 years,” the news release said.
It added that, “of an estimated 2.5 billion people at risk for dengue globally, about 70% live in Asia Pacific countries. Climate conditions, unclean environments, unplanned urban settlements and rapid urbanization can lead to increased mosquito breeding, especially in urban and semi-urban areas.”
It further said, “several countries in the WHO Western Pacific Region such as Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Viet Nam have observed early increases in the number of dengue cases reported so far this year.”
In Cambodia, more than 1300 suspected cases were reported in week 21 alone — a level which is higher than expected for this time of the year.
In the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, as of week 21, a total of 4,216 suspected cases including 14 deaths have been reported.
In Malaysia, a total of 52,941 cases including 81 deaths were reported during the first 22 weeks of 2019.
In Singapore, as of week 21 of 2019, there were a total of 3,886 cases reported.
In Viet Nam, there have been a total of 59,959 suspected cases reported including four deaths as of week 19.
In the Philippines, a total of 77,040 suspected cases of dengue, including 328 deaths, were reported in the first 20 weeks of 2019.
The WHO said, “this is almost double the 41,104 cases reported during the same time period last year. Case numbers remain high, but as they are starting to decline, the rainy season is approaching.”
“The increased number of cases is of concern, but even more worrying is the increase in the rate of people dying from dengue, especially children,” said Dr Takeshi Kasai, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, adding that “this is a signal that we need to work with countries to strengthen care as well as prevention.”
“Health workers in dengue-endemic areas must be able to recognize the symptoms of dengue and the warning signs of severe dengue, do diagnostic tests and provide life-saving care. Also, families need to know what symptoms to look for and where to get early medical attention. This is especially urgent with the rainy season coming to many parts of Asia,” he added.
Call for action
The WHO advisory said that there is no specific treatment for dengue but early detection, improved clinical management and access to proper medical care for severe dengue can reduce fatality rates.
The international health body recommends that dengue-endemic countries continue educating the population and health workers on recognizing dengue symptoms and the warning signs of severe dengue.
It added that appropriate home care with adequate hydration and rest during the early stages can minimize the risk of the disease becoming severe.
The WHO also urges countries to train health professionals on the diagnosis and proper management of dengue and to prepare health centers and hospitals for effective response in case of outbreaks and influxes of patients.
WHO also encourages governments and communities to reduce the spread of dengue by informing the public of how to clean up mosquito breeding sites.
“With these measures, we can minimize the impact of dengue on people in our Region and save lives,” said Dr. Kasai.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019
The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday began the public consultations for the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.
The DOH said the first public consultations for regions 1, 2 and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will be held in Baguio City from June 13 to 14.
The agency said the conduct of a series of public forums across the country aims to make the process of drafting the IRR inclusive and consultative.
“We want to hear from different stakeholders most especially the public because it is truly the Filipino people who will benefit from the UHC,” the DOH said in a statement posted on Twitter.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the UHC into law last February 20.
The law makes all Filipinos members of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), either as direct or indirect contributors, providing immediate eligibility and access to preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care for medical and emergency health services.
The measure urges the private sector to help provide improved health benefit packages for Filipinos to reduce their expenses.
The DOH has been given 180 days to outline and complete the law’s implementing guidelines.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said they are now moving to fast track the implementation of the UHC law.
“It is a big undertaking and we’re now laying the groundwork for the sustainability and effectiveness of this reform that aims to address a number of gaps in our health system,” Duque said.
The DOH said the current draft of the IRR was put together with the help of various stakeholders and representatives from the public and private sector.
The agency said the public consultation for Visayas and Mindanao areas will be announced in the coming weeks through DOH official social media accounts.
The DOH earlier expressed confidence it will be able to finish the draft before the 180 days and the law’s implementing rules will be available by July or August this year.
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Monday, June 10th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Social media have become a popular platform for online selling of almost everything – from shoes, clothes, gadgets, machines, food, even health supplements and prescription medicines.
A concerned netizen posted on social media how easy it was for her to order prescription medicines from an online store and pay the amount at any payment center.
The UNTV News Team checked on the online pharmacy which the netizen mentioned and what other prescription medicines were available for purchase.
The online pharmacy was still open but the prices of medicines were no longer posted.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), selling prescription drugs online is not allowed and may incur penalties under the law.
“Hindi pwede iyang antibiotics sa Lazada (Antibiotics are not allowed on Lazada). That is a violation of our Generics law and Cheaper Medicines Act,” noted Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“Prescription is a must. It is a requirement. You cannot have medicines, antibiotics delivered through Lazada as if it were an ordinary item. We will file a case against Lazada if it is doing that,” Duque added.
The Department Secretary said if antibiotics would be made easily available on online shops, cases of anti-microbial resistance might soon get out of hand.
In a World Health Organization (WHO) report, seven thousand individuals die every year across the globe due to anti-microbial resistance or AMR.
AMR happens when a certain drug is no longer effective to fight or destroy microbes or parasite inside the human body due to over dosage or unprescribed intake of antibiotics.
For this reason, the DOH reminds the public to religiously follow the doctor’s prescription of a certain anti-biotics to benefit from it.
In line with this issue, the DOH will conduct its own investigation on reports about prescription drugs being sold online.
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