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DOH limits per patient’s watcher in hospitals hit by water shortage

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2019

A father watches over his child at a public hospital

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is looking to strictly implement a ‘one watcher, one patient’ policy in hospitals hit by the Manila Water supply shortage.

During a press conference at the National Kidney Institute of the Philippines (NKTI) in Quezon City on March 14, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said a confined patient would only be allowed to have one visitor or watcher to minimize water use.

Duque appealed to patients and their kin to bear with the policy as hospital managements are prioritizing water use for critical care.

He added that this is just temporary given the current situation in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal Province.

Duque said they have identified five hospitals that are affected by the Manila Water’s supply issues. These are NKTI, the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig, the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

Manila Water has earlier assured to prioritize hospitals in its distribution of water supply.

READ: Duque assures enough water supply in hospitals amid water shortage

Duque said hospitals can still sustain their current level of operations on just 50 percent of their average daily consumption.

Water is important for hospitals, such as the NKTI for its hospital operations and dialysis sessions.

READ: NKTI to use other dialysis method to cope with water shortage

NKTI earlier said they will be using peritoneal dialysis method which only requires around six liters of water, compared with hemodialysis which consumes 100 liters of water per session. — Robie de Guzman

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DOH warns vs testimonials on herbal cure for cancer

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Stock photo from Pixabay

The Department of Health (DOH) warns against testimonials circulating on Facebook about herbal supplements curing cancer.

According to DOH cancer program manager Clarito Cairo, testimonials are weak evidence so they are not considered acceptable.

The DOH made the statement due to reports that some cancer patients preferred to used herbal supplements and stopped taking their medication.

Cairo added that there aren’t enough claim to support that herbal supplements can help in curing cancer.

“There are anecdotes saying that they are proven safe and effective, there’s not enough evidence. And then some patients would go back to their oncologists since they have developed complications,” Cairo said.

A recent study showed that patients using Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) such as herbal supplements had worse survival than patients who did not use CAM.

“Unless we know what’s in [the herbal supplements], I would recommend patients avoid using them during radiation because [certain supplements] could interfere with treatment,” according to Dr. Nina Sanford, one of the authors of the study. — Aileen Cerrudo

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DOJ clears Ubial on Dengvaxia case

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2019

Former Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed a criminal complaint against former Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial on the controversial Dengvaxia case.

Ubial was one of the Department of Health former and present officials who were accused of being liable in the deaths of school children who got inoculated with the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

In a seven-page resolution signed by Assistant State Prosecutor Claire Eufracia Pagayanan, the DOJ said it found no probable cause to charge Ubial with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide based on the complaint filed by former Health Secretary Janette Garin.

The resolution reads, “considering that Garin failed to show the existence of the corpus delicti of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide, the complaint against Ubial shall be dismissed for lack of probable cause.”

The DOJ explained that in order to establish Ubial’s liability on the crime charged there must be a direct causal connection between such negligence and the reported deaths.

The resolution further pointed out that “Garin failed to name a single victim who reportedly died as a result of Ubial’s alleged negligent approval and implementation of community-based Dengue immunization program.”

In her complaint, Garin stressed that the Department of Health (DOH) implemented a school-based dengue immunization program but, when Ubial took over, there was a reckless decision to have it expanded into a community-based program which resulted in the reported deaths.

“Deaths were reported soon after the implementation of Sec. Ubial’s Community-Based Dengue Immunization Program. It must be emphasized that the deaths started during Sec. Ubial’s term as DOH Secretary and afterwards,” Garin pointed out.

Garin further said that the DOH, during her time, preferred the school-based dengue immunization program “because the physical and organizational structure of such a program is already in place considering that Dengvaxia is already the sixth (6th) vaccine introduced in schools.”

It can be recalled that on February 11, the DOJ inked a resolution of finding probable cause to charge Garin and nine other Health officials on the Dengvaxia vaccine mess. – Maris Federez

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DOH denies ordering hospitals to install Bong Go’s campaign ads

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has denied directing government hospitals to install political campaign posters bearing the face and name of senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

In a statement issued on Monday (March 25), Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the DOH is strictly following the rules of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) prohibiting campaign advertisements in government offices, schools and health facilities.

“The DOH is strictly following Comelec rules and did not issue any instructions for DOH hospitals to use, distribute, or post materials which feature the name or face of any person running for position in office,” Duque said.

The DOH secretary made the statement in response to Comelec’s request to take down the posters bearing Go’s face from a Malasakit Center at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

The government established Malasakit centers nationwide as a one-stop shop for medical services and to give poor patients access to free medicines.

Duque also explained that PGH is not under DOH supervision and that Comelec should take it up with the University of the Philippines.

PGH also responded to Comelec’s statement, saying posters and any written material bearing Go’s name and face have already been removed after the Malasakit Center was opened in September 2018.

Go, for his part, said on a statement on Monday that he has repeatedly reminded his supporters to remove illegal posters that bear his name and face. He also urged government employees to remain neutral as instructed earlier by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duque, meanwhile, reminded DOH medical center chiefs to immediately take down visual displays of candidates that may be found in public health facilities, if there are any.

The Health official also called on the public to report any campaign materials posted in state-run health centers.

“We request the public to report to the DOH any sightings of such visuals that may be misconstrued as campaign materials favoring any candidate for the coming election,” he said. – Robie de Guzman

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