DOH-FDA receives first report of vape-associated lung injury case in Phl

Maris Federez   •   November 15, 2019   •   351

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday (November 15) announced that it has received an official report on the first case of E-cigarette or Vape-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) from a private pediatric pulmonologist based in the Visayas.

Based on the DOH information released to the media, the patient is a 16-year old female who had been using e-cigarettes for six months while concurrently consuming combustible cigarettes, referred to as “dual-use.”

It said the patient, who was admitted last October 21, initially presented sudden-onset of severe shortness of breath which required them to administer her with oxygen and be admitted to the ICU.

The report also said the clinical impression was initially considered to be infectious in nature, but after further evaluation, the patient met the case criteria for EVALI based on the guidelines of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The patient, however, was subsequently discharged after receiving appropriate care from the attending pulmonologist who is now in continuous communication with the DOH regarding the condition of the patient.

Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo said, “all e-cigarette users should seek immediate medical help, and ask their doctors for ways to quit these harmful products.”

“No e-cigarette product should be accessible to young children and adolescents, who are uniquely susceptible to the harms of e-cigarettes and nicotine. I urge non-users not to even try e-cigarettes at all,” he added.

The health department urges the public to report suspected EVALI cases to ecigarettesurveillance@doh.gov.ph. /mbmf

Filipinos aboard quarantined ship in Japan to be repatriated on Feb. 23 – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship being quarantined due to cases of coronavirus among its passengers in Yokohama, Japan will be repatriated by the Philippine government on Sunday, February 23, the Department of Health (DOH) announced Thursday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told reporters in a briefing that the Filipinos will arrive at the Haribon Hangar of Clark Airbase in two planes and will be brought to New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Of the 3,711 people onboard the cruise ship, 538 are Filipinos – 531 are crew members while seven are passengers.

The health chief said they need to bring home as soon as possible Filipinos who did not test positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and are not showing symptoms of the illness.

However, Filipinos aboard the cruise ship who were found infected with the disease will not be repatriated as they will have to be brought to a hospital to undergo treatment or monitoring.

As of Thursday, the number of Filipinos on the vessel who were found positive for COVID-19 has risen to 44.

Duque said the Philippine government is willing to assist Filipinos who contracted the disease once they have recovered.

He also said that it is not yet known how many Filipinos will return home as some might still decide to stay after disembarking the ship on Wednesday when the two-week quarantine period ended.

The entire cruise ship was placed on quarantine last February 3 after one of its passengers tested positive for the virus.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. earlier ordered for the immediate repatriation of Filipinos aboard the cruise ship.

The DFA said they have been coordinating with Japanese authorities and the operator of the vessel to ensure that everything will be smooth once the repatriation process begins. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

MCGI receives highest recognition in Dugong Bayani Awards 2019

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 14, 2020

The Members, Church of God International (MCGI) received the highest recognition at the Dugong Bayani Awards 2019 of the Philippine Blood Center and the Department of Health (DOH).

For the eighth consecutive year, MCGI received the Jose Rizal Award for having the highest number of blood donors in the country.

The Jose Rizal Award is awarded to organizations who were able to donate 2,000 bags of blood in a year.

According to the DOH, the MCGI was able to donate 5,801 bags within a year which is the highest for 2019.

“Alam naman natin na iyong ating ginagawa ay [upang] hindi tayo maghabol ng pagkilala ng tao kundi ang mahalaga, makatulong tayo sa ating kapwa tao na nangangailangan, (We know that we are not doing this for the recognition but what is important is we are able to help our fellowmen in need)” according to MCGI representative Danny Navales.

The DOH has also awarded different government agencies, private sectors, and individuals who had huge contributions to the agency’s blood donation campaign.

“Voluntary blood donation is very important kasi ang dugo, hindi natin iyan nama-manufacture. Nakukuha lang natin ang dugo sa donasyon ng ating kapwa tao (because blood cannot be manufactured. We only get blood from our fellowmen),” according to Philippine Blood Center Medical Officer III Dr. April Charlotte Andal.

The DOH continues to encourage the public to donate blood.

The MCGI regularly conducts blood donation drives at all Ang Dating Daan Coordinating Centers across the country and abroad. This is part of the advocacy campaign of Brother Eli Soriano and Brother Daniel Razon of helping people in need.

“Kailan pa man at tayo’y binibigyan ng Panginoong Dios ng mabuting pagkakataon ay makaaasa ang ating mga kababayan na patuloy pa po nating palalaguin o pagyayabungin pa ang ganitong pagtulong sa kapwa (As long as God is giving us the opportunity, rest assured that we will continue to help others),” Navales said.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Filipino crew in Japan cruise ship who tested positive of COVID-19 now in stable condition

Maris Federez   •   February 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The number of passengers in the Diamond Princess cruise ship that is now docked in Yokohama, Japan who tested positive of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has reached 175.

Among those who tested positive is a Filipino crew whom the Department of Health (DOH) said was admitted to the hospital and is now in stable condition.

Aside from the Filipino crew, seven Filipino passengers who were tested positive for COVID-19 are also being closely monitored in a hospital.

“’Yong mga nandoon din sa cruise ship natin na mga crew members, stable din naman and they are being taken care of in Japan,” said DOH Usec. Eric Domingo.

The Diamond Princess with 3,700 people on board, was placed under the 14-day quarantine upon arriving in Yokohama on Feb. 3 after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus.

Read: Japan cruise ship coronavirus cases climb to 175, including quarantine officer

The epidemic originated in Wuhan City in mainland China, where over 1,100 people have now died due to the virus. —(with details from Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

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