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DOH considers regulating the use of vapes

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

A man smokes an electronic cigarette vaporizer, also known as an e-cigarette, in Toronto, August 7, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

MANILA, Philippines — Many are under the impression that because e-cigarettes or vapes do not contain tobacco, they pose little risk to health.

“Noong mga time na nag-switch na nga ako sa vaping, medyo gumanda ‘yung pakiramdam ko. Kasi dati hypertensive ako. Mataas lagi ‘yung blood pressure ko noong naninigarilyo ako,” said KM Konstantino, a vape shop administrator.

(During the time that I switched to vaping I started feeling better. I used to be hypertensive. My blood pressure was always high when I used to smoke.)

Nowadays, shops that sell vapes have mushroomed in different parts of the country and have mostly enticed the youth.

Vapes are used as an alternative to cigarette smoking.

Based on reports of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Research (NCHR), chemicals used in vaporized nicotine cigarettes or vapes are toxic and carcinogenic or can cause cancer.

The Department of Health agrees that e-cigarettes still contains nicotine.

“Iyong addiction sa nicotine, it promotes cancer, mga inflammation, mga sakit na asthma. So nandoon pa rin yung ill effects ng nicotine,” said DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

(The addiction to nicotine promotes cancer, inflammation and asthma. So the ill effects of nicotine are still present.)

Domingo added that vapes are not on the list of scientifically proven and expert recommended alternatives to smoking.

Thus, the agency is planning to regulate the use of vapes or e-cigarettes across the country.

“Anywhere from regulation at tsaka iyong pagbabawal kung saan ibinabawal ang sigarilyo, kung saan ibinabawal ang usok,” said the undersecretary. 

(Anywhere from regulation to prohibition in places where cigarettes and smoke are not allowed.)

— Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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Health advocate group stages protest vs Sanofi Pasteur

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Coalition for People’s Right to Health

MANILA, Philippines —A health advocate group dashed to Sanofi Pasteur’s office in Taguig City condemning the pharmaceutical company’s alleged neglect over the Dengvaxia anomaly.

The Coalition for People’s Right to Health said that Sanofi violated the rights of patients to know the real effects of Dengvaxia vaccine.

The health advocate group insisted that Sanofi must pay the parents of Dengvaxia vaccinees.

The group also blames the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III who led the vaccination program on thousands of children in the country. — UNTV News & Rescue

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At least 30 establishments in Boracay are without a proper drainage system

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

MANILA, Philippines —The Malay Municipal Engineering Office and the Municipal health officer inspected the drainage of a hotel to determine if it properly connects with the sewerage system of Boracay.

Authorities discovered that the establishment is illegally connected to the drainage and sewerage system of the Boracay water facility.

The management of the hotel was issued with citation tickets and was ordered to fix their drainage.

“Illegal. May mga hindi nakakonect sa sewer. Inisyuhan naman lahat ng citation ticket ng MHO [Malay Health Office] then, inadvise sila na kailangan nilang mag-connect sa sewer,” said engineer Philip Joy Peñaflor.

(This is illegal. Some are not connected to the sewer. The MHO [Malay Health Office] issued them citation tickets and were advised to connect to the sewer.)

According to the municipal engineer, the said hotel is just one of about 30 establishments in Boracay that have no drainage system resulting in sea pollution.

Authorities said the situation has been causing flooding in the island.

Meanwhile,17 establishments in Boracay were found to have violated the Municipal Ordinance No. 307 series of 2012.

The ordinance refers to the proper installation, construction, and maintenance of sewerage treatment plants and septic tanks based on existing standards.

“Regulated garbage po siya pero dapat segregation at source. So hindi siya naka-segregate at source, nakamix lang siya,” said health and sanitation inspector Helen Belen.

(These are regulated garbage but it should be segregated at source. These are not segregated at source, it’s mixed.)

Some hotels were also found to have been operating without sanitary permits and health cards for their employees. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue


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Gabriela’s ‘Dengvaxia Watch’ receives hundreds of complaints

by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, January 29th, 2018

Gabriela Metro Manila is set to rally against DOH on the issue of Dengvaxia vaccine.

MANILA, Philippines — Aside from the complaint filed by Gabriela Women’s party-list at the Supreme Court against the former official of the Department of Health (DOH) in the issue of Dengvaxia vaccine, the group also launched on December 18, 2017, the Dengvaxia Watch hotline where parents of children vaccinated with the anti-dengue can bring forward all of their concerns.

After one month, they have already received numerous complaints from the parents.

Based on the group’s record, they receive an average of 15 complaints every day.

Some of them are about the lack of information drive about Dengvaxia. There are also cases of parents claiming they did not sign a waiver yet their children were still vaccinated.

The parents also worry about additional consultation expenses they have incurred due to concerns over possible effects of the vaccine on their children.

Aside from the calls received by Dengvaxia Watch hotline, Gabriela also spoke with 500 parents in Metro Manila through the Dengvaxia caravan forums they are conducting.

Due to this, the group suggested to the Department of Health to conduct preventive steps for children who may possibly fall ill due to Dengvaxia.

“Immediate talaga na magagawa ngayon ng DOH, iyong free laboratory test at iyong free na mga gamot para sa mga batang nabigyan ng Dengvaxia vaccine na nagrereklamo ng mga sintomas sa iba’t ibang hospital,” said Gabriela party-list Representative Arlene Brosad.

(The immediate measures that DOH can offer are free laboratory tests and free treatment for children who received Dengvaxia vaccine and are now exhibiting symptoms in different hospitals.)

But the DOH initially stated that they need to verify information first regarding the children who received Dengvaxia so that they can provide the appropriate assistance.

Meanwhile, Gabriela plans to conduct a protest dialogue with the Department of Health officials on February 7, regarding the controversial issue. — UNTV News & Rescue

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