DOH declares national dengue epidemic due to surge of dengue cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 6, 2019   •   793

Patients suffering from dengue fever receive medical treatment at an isolation ward of a government-run hospital in Manila, Philippines, 16 July 2019. (Photoville Internatioal)

The Department of Health (DOH) has declared a national dengue epidemic due to the continuous surge of dengue cases in the country.

According to the DOH, dengue cases from July 14 to 20 alone already reached over 10,000.

From January to July 20, a total of 146,062 cases with 622 death were recorded. It is 98% higher compared to the same period last year.

READ: Dengue on the rise: How to protect your family against dengue virus

“It is important that a national epidemic be dared in these areas to identify where a localized response is needed and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation,” Duque said during a press briefing on Tuesday (Aug 6).

Duque also said the health department along with other government agencies and local government unit will launch “the ‘Sabayang 4 o’clock habit’ para dengue out, focusing on search and destroy in mosquito breeding sites.”

The DOH also reiterated the importance of immediate consultation if an individual experiences dengue symptoms.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Help pours in as death toll in Mindanao quake reaches 21

Maris Federez   •   November 3, 2019

The number of confirmed deaths in the wake of the magnitude 6.6 and 6.5 quakes that struck Mindanao in the past weeks has reached 21.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), most number of fatalities was recorded in Cotabato with nine deaths caused by the magnitude 6.6 tremor and another nine in the magnitude 6.5 quake.

Davao del Sur, on the other hand, registered three deaths caused by the 6.6 quake.

The NDRRMC data also showed 432 individuals sustaining injuries due to the tremor; 301 of which are in Region XII, 117 in Region XI, 14 in Region X, and 1 in BARMM.

The council also confirmed that the temblor that hit the southern part of Mindanao had affected around 35,000 families or around 178,000 individuals in 200 barangays.

Several groups from the public and private sectors, including the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Task Force Tabang Mindanao and the Coast Guard District South Eastern Mindanao, had extended assistance to the affected families.

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Saturday (November 2) directed the Department of National Defense (DND) to lead all relief efforts and to ensure safety and security of the public in the earthquake stricken areas of Mindanao.

Medialdea also advised the public “to coordinate directly with the DND and/or the NDRRMC to ensure the efficient conduct of relief efforts, including the distribution of relief goods and rescue operations.” (with details from Rosalie Coz and Davao Correspondent Janice Ingente) /mbmf

Death toll in 6.5 magnitude quake in Mindanao reaches 6

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 1, 2019

The death toll in the 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Tulunan, Cotabato on October 31 has reached six, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).

READ: Magnitude 6.5 earthquake jolts Tulunan town in N. Cotabato anew

The 6.6 magnitude earthquake that struck Tulunan on October 29, on the other hand, has reached seven.

This brings a total of 16 confirmed deaths with over 400 injured and two missing from the two earthquakes.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday (October 31) said they already mobilized their rescue teams in several areas in Mindanao that were hit by the strong quake.—AAC

DOH wants tax on salty food products

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to propose imposing additional taxes on salty food products in a bid to lower the high incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.

High consumption of salt is one of the causes of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, stroke and chronic respiratory illnesses. Excessive salt intake is also related to hypertension, kidney diseases and cardiovascular problems, according to the DOH.

DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Eric Domingo noted that the recommended salt intake per day for adult Filipinos is just under a teaspoon or around two grams.

The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said that the recommended salt intake per day should be less than five grams.

“Ang cause ng hypertension sa atin, maliban sa paninigarilyo, ay pagkain ng maalat. Dapat po isang tao, 2 grams lang per day, tayo po ang konsyumo natin 11-15 grams per day, so tayo ay 4-5 times sa mga Filipino,” Domingo said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.

High sodium intake raises blood pressure that leads to stroke and heart diseases, the two biggest causes of death and disability worldwide, according to the WHO.

In the Philippines, the DOH reported that more than 170,000 individuals die each year from heart diseases, specifically hypertension.

To curb the high incidence of these diseases and to help encourage people to eat healthy foods, the DOH is pushing for the imposition of additional taxes on products with too much salt.

Domingo cited the experience of several countries that imposed tax on unhealthy food which forced companies to adjust their product formulation.

“And it has been found in many countries that when you tax products that are unhealthy, talagang nagde-decrease kasi ang intake and the companies reformulate yung kanilang product,” he said.

The government has implemented tax on sugary drinks as well as on tobacco products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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