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DOH releases new graphic health warnings for cigarette packages

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

One of the new graphic health warning that will appear to cigarette packs

MANILA, Philippines — The Republic Act No. 10643 or Graphic Health Warning Law mandates the Department of Health (DOH) to release new graphic health warning labels for cigarette packs in every two years.

DOH released the new templates on March 3 .

The new templates show the health dangers of smoking cigarettes such as gangrene, emphysema, neck cancer, mouth cancer, asthma, still and premature birth.

“The old ones are saturated already and they’re somehow numb so they just ignore those old graphic warnings. So part of the strategy is to ensure that you have new graphic health warnings each time,” said health chief, Francisco Duque.

The Graphic Health Warning Law states that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will be the lead agency to monitor and implement the said law especially in terms of imposing taxes.

“We set it on March 3 and the monitoring and the implementation are supposed to be done by BIR, in terms of taxes,” said DOH Usec. Eric Domingo.

Based on the figures of the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 1.4 billion smokers worldwide, and 4.9 million die yearly due to smoking.

The DOH figures show that 240 Filipino smokers die every day.

The health department is hoping that the implementation of the said law will help lower the cases of respiratory illnesses and death cases due to smoking. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue


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DOH to conduct house-to-house immunization

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Some medical experts said the number of people getting vaccinated has dropped to 50- 80% when the issue of Dengvaxia Vaccine broke out.

MANILA, Philippines —The Department of Health (DOH) will conduct a house to house immunization to help the public understand the importance of vaccination.

The DOH admitted that the Dengvaxia controversy is affecting its other immunization programs.

Nevertheless, the health department wants to keep up with its mandate to ensure public health safety.

The house to house immunization program will administer vaccines against diseases like polio, hepatitis, and measles. — UNTV News & Rescue

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DOH to reshuffle senior officials to avoid “whitewash” in the Dengvaxia probe

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III

MANILA, Philippines —  Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III ordered on Wednesday a reshuffle among the department’s undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, and directors.

According to the DOH chief, the move will help ensure that no whitewash will happen in the investigation being conducted by the agency on the controversy involving the Dengavaxia vaccines.

It can be recalled two officials of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are transferred to other positions in connection with the said issue.

Meanwhile, Duque also seeks to discuss with President Rodrigo Duterte the steps being taken by the agency regarding the controversy.

The health chief said that he will ask the president to allow them to use more than P 300-million from the P1.162-billion worth of refund of the Sanofi Pasteur for the unused Dengvaxia vaccine.

The DOH also sought to be included in its yearly budget the allocation of funds for the medical supplies that will be provided in dengue kits.

“I actually wrote the President to ask Congress. We will also write individually [to] the Senate president and to the speaker. The draft letters are already ready,” the health chief said.

“That’s going to be part of the issues I will take up with the President,” he added.

Duque said he will also ask the President to allow the agency to hire 500 surveillance officers who will be tasked to monitor the children who received Dengvaxia. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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DOH, in talks with SolGen over lawsuit against Sanofi Pasteur

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Anti-dengue vaccine: Dengvaxia

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) will push through with the filing of a complaint against French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur after it repeatedly refused to refund the amount the government paid for unused Dengvaxia vaccines.

It can be noted that Sanofi also refused to provide indemnification fund for the 837,000 Dengvaia vaccinees.

“The case build-up takes time. It can never be a product of haste because if you do that you might set up yourself for an embarrassing legal defeat, which we do not want,” said health chief, Francisco Duque.

The health secretary said the DOH might use as evidence the revelation made by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) during the House inquiry.

The FDA divulged on Tuesday that Sanofi did not reveal to the Philippine government that people without prior dengue infection should not use Dengvaxia.

Based on FDA’s investigation, the pharmaceutical giant has been aware of the negative effects of Dengvaxia this is why it was able to warn Singapore about it.

In a statement, Sanofi said it has been seeking to hold discussions with the DOH to search for ways to address the dengue problem in the Philippines.

However, the company claimed that DOH refused to talk to them.

“It is not very clear where they are coming from. I do not understand the framework. I don’t understand the plan they are talking about. It is very nebulous,” Duque said. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue



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