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Dengvaxia vaccine did not follow proper procurement process – former Health Official

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 8 December 2017 10:38 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Formulary Executive Council (FEC) of the Department of Health did not give permission and did not recommend the purchase of the P3.5-billion anti-dengue vaccine.

According to former Undersecretary Susan Mercado,  the FEC in the first place was very much against to use of Dengvaxia for mass vaccination

“There is a Formulary Executive Committee which is created under Executive Order #49 that actually protects the secretary of health in making a decision about what to introduce or not introduce in the country,” Mercado said.

Dr. Mercado also reasoned that the entire procurement process was not followed when DOH said they would use Dengvaxia in the government’s immunization program.

“That is very problematic because this system of the Department of Health for introducing new vaccines has worked for more than 50 years, for 50 years the Department of Health has been able to protect children through vaccination and all of a sudden the process is not followed,” Dr. Mercardo said.

There are also ways which should have been followed by the department in introducing a new vaccine especially when it comes to proposing a budget for it.

It should first pass through the National Immunization Committee, the Executive Committee of the Department and the General Appropriations Act in Congress.

Scientists and experts were not also given enough time to review and to debate on the said vaccine.

“See, the process was not followed here. In the first place it was not part of the General Appropriations Act and therefore there was no congressional oversight over it and under the law there has to be congressional oversight of the budget. So, that whole part of it was skipped,” Mercado said.

On the other hand, DOH said if the purchase was anomalous it should have set off alarm bells in the Commission on Audit (COA).

“Kung hindi legal at hindi in order ang ginawang pagbili ng Dengvaxia, the purchase happened last year,siguro sa ngayon hinahabol na kami ng COA,” DOH Usec. Gerardo Bayugo said.

(If the procurement of Dengvaxia had been illegal and not in order, [and the fact that] the purchase happened last year, COA would be hounding us by now.)

On Thursday, former member of DOH’s dengue expert panel, Dr. Anthony Leachon, claimed that they were barred to speak during the House hearing where they were supposed to reveal their findings on possible risks in the implementation of the Dengue Immunization Program. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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Maynilad to prioritize NKTI, 4 other hospitals in water delivery

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, 14 March 2019 07:42 PM

The Department of Health will be implementing stricter guidelines in hospitals that are affected by water shortage.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III instructed these hospitals to only allow one companion per patient, saying this will, in a way, help in saving water consumption.

“Sana maintindihan ng mga magulang. Kasi kung hahayaan natin na lahat tatlo, apat (ang bantay), eh ubos ang tubig natin [I hope that the parents will understand. If we will let one patient have three or four companions, our stock water will run out],” said Duque.

Meanwhile, Maynilad announced that they will be prioritizing the delivery of water to five hospitals, namely: Rizal Medical Center, National Center for Mental Health, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), the Philippine Children Medical Center, and the Quirino Memorial Medical Center, in which the patients confined there are in delicate condition.

NKTI Executive Director, Dr. Rose Marie Rosete Liquete said that if the water supply in hospitals will go low, dialysis patients will be heavily affected.

She further said that to save on water, they will have to move from peritoneal dialysis to hemodialysis.

“Iyong peritoneal dialyisis, ilagagay sa abdominal cavity ng pasyente and then magwa-wash out iyon to empty ng lahat ng toxins ng body so it doesn;t require water to the machine. Ang kailangan lang doon handwashing [During peritoneal dialysis, a cleansing fluid is circulated inside part of your abdominal cavity. It then washes out and empty the toxins out of your body, so it doesn’t require water to the machine. What you will just need is to wash your hands],” said Liquete.

Dr. Joseph Michael Jaro, the Head of the Auxiliary Operations for the Kidney Institute said, “We may have to suspend and slow down the dialysis. It doesn’t have to shut down everything but we really need to prioritize the critical patients.”

The administration of East Avenue Medical Center and the Lung Center of the Philippines also met with Sec. Duque on Thursday and assured him that their respective hospital operations are still running normal and that they still have enough water supply. — Maris Federez (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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DOH records more than 9,000 measles cases; intensifies immunization drive to control effect on tourism, economics

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, 19 February 2019 05:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health has recorded more than 9,000 cases of measles across the country from January 1 to February 18, 2019.

The department said this is three times higher than what was seen in the same period in 2018 with 2,534 cases.

The death toll on measles cases has also risen to one hundred forty-six.

The department also said that there is a rising concern over the increasing number of measles cases in CALABARZON, the National Capital Region, and Central Luzon.

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III has made an appeal to health center representatives in Metro Manila to extend their services and conduct free vaccination on children age six months to five years on weekends.

“Buong Kamaynilan ang kanila pong mga kinatawan ay sumang-ayon na habaan ang oras. Ang mga bakunahan tuwing Sabado at nakikiusap ako pwede pong pati Linggo [Representatives in the whole of Metro Manila agreed to extend their working time. Conduct vaccination on Saturdays, and if need be, even on Sundays],” said Duque.

Last Saturday, health centers in the NCR has conducted the said free vaccination.

The DOH said this should be done as part of their intensified efforts to curb the spread of the virus and, in turn, prevent further backlash on tourism and the economy.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, on the other hand, allayed fears of other countries that Filipino travelers may be possible carriers of the virus.

The health official also expressed concern over the issue that authorities from other countries might prevent their citizens from traveling to the Philippines, as this may have a severe effect on the economy.

“Sa mga tourist na papunta satin [To the incoming tourists], we want to assure them that everything is being done to contain the outbreaks and control it the soonest time possible,” said Domingo. — Maris Federez (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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Piccolo tops list of dangerous firecrackers, causes of injuries

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, 27 December 2018 06:23 PM


MANILA, Philippines —  The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Health (DOH) remind the public to avoid firecracker disasters in welcoming the new year.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said that they want to reduce the number of firecracker victims this year.

Last year, there were 463 recorded firecracker-related injuries, which was 164 lower than 627 cases in 2016.

“Mag-iingat lang. Ang common kasi yung puputok habang hawak pa or kinabukasan nagkaka-injuries din tayo kasi ang mga bata naman ay mamumulot, titingnan kung alin yung mga hindi pumutok tapos tsaka sila masasabugan. Kung sinindihan natin at ‘di sya sumabog hayaan na natin at wag na natin siyang balikan,” said Domingo.

Piccolo topped the list of the main causes of firecracker injury followed by kwitis and other unidentified firecrackers.

Manila had the highest number of firecracker-related injuries with 116 cases or 47% while Quezon City had 30 or 12%.

Eighteen (18) cases were hand fractures; 80 were eye injuries; and 377 were firecracker burns.

Authorities remind that the banned firecrackers include Watusi, Piccolo, and over sized and loud firecrackers such as Super Lolo, Goodbye Philippines, Giant Whistle Bomb and others.

“We are intensifying our intelligence efforts para as much as possible ay hindi lang yung streets and also the source. Hindi mo kailangang gumawa ng paputok para hulihin ka by mere possession of those phosphorous item are already prohibited and punishable by law,” said PNP FEO Director PCSupt. Val De Leon.

De Leon said that if the public cannot be stopped on firecracker use, authorities recommend the use of approved firecrackers in designated firecracker zones in every barangays. —  Marje Pelayo (with reports from Bernard Dadis)

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