DOH: 10-year-old girl dies of diphtheria

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 26, 2019   •   700

A photomicrograph depicting a number of Gram-positive Corynebacterium diphtheriae bacteria. Source: CDC

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday (September 24) confirmed that a 10-year-old grade schooler from Pandacan, Manila has died of diphtheria.

Based on the information from the Manila Health District, the student experienced fever last September 17 and subsequently suffered mouth sores as well as difficulty in breathing.

The student was only rushed to the hospital after three days.

She passed away on September 20, a few hours after she was diagnosed with diphtheria.

According to DOH Spokesperson Usec. Eric Domingo, the victim had not completed her vaccines when she was still an infant.

“The results came in today and positive iyong results. The case was really a case of diphtheria,” he said.

Domingo added the regional office immediately responded to the report and traced all the relatives and neighbors of the student to distribute antibiotics.

The Health Department said diphtheria is a bacteria that can be treated with antibiotics.

Its symptoms include fever, sore throat, and difficulty in breathing.

Children ages five are of higher risk of contracting the disease.

However, the DOH clarified that not everyone experiencing the symptoms has diphtheria so it is better to consult a specialist.

“Droplet infection siya na pwedeng ma-transmit (It is a droplet infection that can be transmitted). It’s also vaccine-preventable,” Domingo said.

The illness can also be prevented through Diphtheria Perthusis Tetanus which is administered to infants from six, 10, and 14 weeks old.

The DOH further warns that in case of a positive case of diphtheria in a community, such must be immediately reported to the local health center so that antibiotics may be given to everyone who had contact with the patient.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Duque takes responsibility over compensation mess

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 5, 2020

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said he is taking the responsibility for the delayed compensation for health workers hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a tweet, the Duque said it is still his responsibility as the secretary of health to make sure compensations are properly distributed.

The Health Secretary initially put the blame of delayed compensation for the COVID-19 hit health workers on his subordinates, during his talk with President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday morning (June 5).

“Nakakahiya talaga sir, namatayan na nga, nagpawardi-wardi iyong mga tao ko na parang walang sense of urgency. Ang sama-sama po ng loob ko Mr. President (It is a shame, sir, that people are dying and yet my subordinates were dilly-dallying as if they have no sense of urgency. I am really disappointed, Mr. President),” he said.

The DOH already released a joint administrative order to implement the provision of the Bayanihan Law to provide P100,000 benefits to health workers who were badly hit by COVID-19, while P1 million will be given to the families of health workers who already passed away due to the virus.

Duterte has given the DOH until June 9 to provide the financial assistance to the health workers hit with COVID-19. AAC (with report from Aiko Miguel)

PH COVID-19 cases hit 20,000 mark

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 5, 2020

The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines has reached over 20,000, according to the latest report of the Department of Health (DOH).

Based on DOH COVID-19 bulletin as of June 4, 4:00 p.m., COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 20,382. The total cases recorded on that day totaled to 634, with fresh cases at 313 and late cases at 321.

The number of recoveries is at 4,248 with 95 recoveries reported on June 4. There are also 10 reported deaths, increasing the total number to 984.

According to the Department of Health (DOH) most of the active COVID-19 cases in the country are only experiencing mild symptoms.

DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergire assured that the country’s health system can still manage the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Mas pinaghuhusay natin ang pag-aalaga sa ating mga pasyente, (We are boosting our capabilities to care of our patients),” she said.

The country currently has 52 licensed testing laboratories and over 300,000 individuals that underwent COVID-19 testing. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH to release rules for benefits of coronavirus-stricken health workers

Robie de Guzman   •   June 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday assured it will issue within the day the joint administrative order on the release of benefits for health workers infected with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Secretary of Health has already signed the joint administrative order and they are only awaiting the signature of both the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The order will contain implementing rules on Section 4F of the Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which states that a compensation of P100,000 will be provided to public and private health workers who may contract severe COVID-19 infection while in the line of duty; while those who die while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a compensation of P1 million.

The DOH earlier reported that 32 healthcare workers died due to COVID-19 while 79 were severely ill.

As of June 2, a total of 2,675 healthcare workers contracted COVID-19; 1,457 of them have recovered.

Vergeire said the release of the guidelines was delayed because they still had to source the funds for the beneficiaries.

She added that they also explored different possibilities, including tapping the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System, but found that doing so would result in a more difficult process.


“Alam naman natin na marami doon sa mga gastustin ngayon ay kinukuha lang natin sa realigned budget namin especially for those logistics na pangangailangan namin,” she said.

The health official said the DOH has allotted P100 million for the program which will come from the agency’s medical assistance funds.

“Kung saka-sakali na tayo ay maka-receive na ng documentary requirements na kailangan ng ating gobyerno para makapag- release tayo ng pera,” she said.

Vergeire said the DOH has already contacted the families of all 32 health workers who died of the disease for the requirements.

Malacañang on Thursday said that President Rodrigo Duterte has given concerned government agencies until June 9 to distribute the financial assistance to COVID-19-stricken health workers. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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