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DOH records 7 firecracker-related injuries since December 21

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, 24 December 2018 07:02 PM

 

FILE PHOTO: Fire-cracker injury

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) records seven firecracker-related injuries nationwide since it started its monitoring last Friday, December 21.

DOH reports that three of the patients sustained blast and burn injuries. One sustained eye injury while another needed an amputation. The remaining two are still confined in hospital.

All victims were boys, ranging in age from two to 13 years old.

However, the DOH stressed that the number of cases recorded so far this year is 44 percent lower compared to the figures during the same period in 2017 and 58 percent lower than the average over the past five years.

The department also assures that all its retained hospitals have been placed under code white alert and ready to respond to emergency cases this holiday season.  — UNTV News & Rescue

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DOH lauds increase in immunization response; measles death hits 70

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 11 February 2019 05:24 PM

Healthcare workers administering vaccinations

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) lauded the return of public trust in government immunization program especially amid the ongoing outbreak of measles infection in the country.

“Ako po’y natutuwa na ang mga magulang po ngayon mukhang nagbabago na ang kanilang pananaw patungkol po sa ating immunization program ng DOH,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Chona Palen did not hesitate to have her daughter vaccinated since the outbreak of measles was declared.

Chona said she wants to make sure her children are protected especially the youngest who is nine months old.

“Talagang nag-aalala po talaga ako sa mga anak ko kasi tatlo iyong anak ko. Itong bunso talagang gusto ko talagang pabakunahan,” she said.

Based on the latest data from DOH, measles infection in the country reached to 4,302 cases and 70 deaths from January 1 to February 9, 2019.

The highest number of infection remains in the National Capital Region (NCR) with 1,296 and 18 deaths, followed by Calabarzon with 1,086 cases and 25 deaths; Central Luzon with 481 cases and 3 deaths; Western Visayas with 212 cases and four deaths; and Northern Mindanao with 189 cases and five deaths.

Most of the patients were children aged four and below, with 66% having no vaccination history since birth.

Duque explained that health experts do not recommend measles vaccination to infants 0 to five months old.

It can only be given to children from nine months old and above, and a booster when they reach 12 to 15 months old.

“Kasi mura pa iyong kanilang immune system,” Duque said.

“Pangalawa, meron kasing maraming pag-aaral na lumalabas mayroon silang natural immunity, not really immunity but a protection —immunoglobulin (IGG). From the maternal circulation pumupunta sa bata as a protective antibody,” he added.

Duque said that the only solution when the patient is that young is to isolate the infant infected with measles.

“Iyon lang ang solution natin, isolation lang talaga kung mayroon na and let the body take care of its own,” the DOH secretary said.

The DOH assured that the country has enough supply of measles vaccine this outbreak season.

Thus, it encourages parents to bring their children to the nearest health center for immunization before its too late. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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Parents urged to avail free vaccination for children vs. Japanese encephalitis

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 5 February 2019 12:54 PM

PAMPANGA, Philippines – Architect Neil Licayan lost his daughter to Japanese encephalitis (JE).

Neil remembered Jessica, then 15 years old, as a sporty, young athlete before her health started to deteriorate when she suffered from the disease.

Jessica died in 2018.

“She was active sa school. She was athletic. Dito po sa aming munting rest house, lahat ng gusto niya we play basketball together. She loved swimming in school and she was the most diligent among us sa pag intake po ng vitamins,” Neil said.

Neil recalled how swift the complications began to appear from what they initially thought was an ordinary headache, though her fever went on and off for two to three days.

“Typical lagnat so we were not that concerned,” he said.

“(It was) Saturday, (we went for her) check up. Naglalakad sa school ipapa-IV lang po namin siya para kasi final exams just so makabawi ang strength niya. Sunday morning comatosed na po ang anak ko and Tuesday wala na po siya. Ganoon kabilis,” he added.

The Department of Health (DOH) Region 3 warned parents to monitor their children especially if they show flu-like symptoms.

“Ang sintomas ng Japanese encephalitis ay katulad rin ng marami. Kapag ikaw ay nagkaka-trangkas or flu-like (symptoms) – mayroon siyang lagnat, nananakit ang kasukasuan, masakit ang ulo – sa mga bata kadalasan sumasakit ang kanilang tiyan,” explained Dr. Maria Rosario Vergerie.

“Maaari mo siyang ihalintulad sa ibang sakit na parang mga trangkaso,” she added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported an average of 40,000 patients dying of Japanese encephalitis every year where three patients out of 10, die of the disease.

In most cases, the WHO said, patients develop permanent disabilities such as paralysis, speech impairment and mental defects.

Based on DOH record, the highest number of Japanese encephalitis infection in the country in 2018 was recorded in Region 3 with 308 confirmed cases and 9 deaths.

“One of the reasons na mataas sa Region 3, ang central Luzon is the rice granary. So maraming palayan, marami tayong poultries na gustong gusto ng JE mosquito,” explained Dr. Jessie Fontane, Head of the DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.

“Medyo delikado po talaga yung Japanese encephalitis dahil po siya ay nakamamatay,” said DOH regional director Dr. Cesar Cassion.

Because of this, the DOH Region 3 will conduct a one-time mass immunization campaign on JE for free in seven provinces in the month of March which targets one million children age 9 months to 5 years-old who are the most vulnerable age group.

A vaccination is a lifetime protection for a child that’s why the agency is encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated.

The DOH assured the public that the government’s immunization program is safe and tested.

“Pero based naman doon sa mga track record ng mga bakuna na ito, more than 30 years na itong ginagamit in 12 countries. Gusto lang (natin) i-emphasize na 400 million doses na po ang naibigay. Based naman dun sa kasaysayan na ito, sa experience na ito na safe po ito at saka proven,” Cassion assured.

Japanese encephalitis is an infection spread through mosquito bites. It is a serious disease which takes 5 up to 15 days to develop. Symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, difficulty moving and confusion. It can be fatal if not immediately attended. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Leslie Huidem)

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DOH warns of fatal effects of flu

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 31 January 2019 05:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Influenza or flu is common nowadays as the northeast monsoon or amihan prolongs drop in temperature in the country.

Flu differs from common cough and cold since it is accompanied with high fever and muscle pain that last for days.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), flu season starts from the month of October to February.

But the DOH warns of the severe effects or complications that flu can cause to the human body which can be fatal if not immediately attended to.

“Binabantayan natin kung ano iyong strain at talagang by middle of the year nagbabakuna na tayo. Sa Pilipinas ang peak lang talaga ng flu-like illnesses itong panahon ng malamig,” explained Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

“Ang nakakatakot lang kasi na gusto nating ma- prevent iyong mga flu na nagkakaroon ng complication. Kasi maaari siyang mauwi sa pneumonia at of course maaaring in the end makamatay,” the health official warned.

In view of the possible outbreak, the DOH reminds the public to keep protected by strengthening the immune system.

Take vitamin C shots and more fluids like orange juice and six to eight glasses of water every day.

Sleep at least six to eight hours a day and make sure to exercise and eat fruits and vegetables.

Make it a habit to wear face mask especially when in crowded places or when travelling to avoid contracting flu virus.

Based on DOH records, flu cases in the country has declined this year as compared to the same period last year considering that the flu strain detected last year was stronger than those being monitored this year.

“Worrisome ang flu last year. Medyo matapang iyong flu last year hindi lang sa Pilipians kundi sa ibang bansa sa Amerika, sa Hong Kong. It was a virulent strain last year,” noted Domingo.

The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that the flu has become one of the severe health threats in the world this year.

The DOH advises parents to make sure their children get a complete set of vaccination to be well-protected.

Meanwhile, senior citizens may also avail of free flu shots in barangay health centers and DOH accredited hospitals. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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