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DOH releases new graphic health warnings for cigarette packages

by UNTV News   |   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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Smoking down, but tobacco use still a major cause of death and disease, WHO says

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2018

FILE PHOTO: An illustration picture shows cigarettes in their pack, October 8, 2014. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Illustration

Fewer people are smoking worldwide, especially women, but only one country in eight is on track to meet a target of reducing tobacco use significantly by 2025, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday (May 30).

Three million people die prematurely each year due to tobacco use, which causes cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks and stroke, Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO’s Department for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases, said during the launch of the organization’s global report on trends in the prevalence of tobacco smoking.

Some 890,000 of the deaths result from second-hand smoke exposure.

Progress is uneven, with the Americas being the only region set to meet the U.N. target of reducing tobacco use by 30 percent by 2025.

Parts of Western Europe have reached a “standstill”, particularly due to a failure to get women to stop smoking, while African men are lagging, and tobacco use in the Middle East is actually set to increase, Bettcher said.

Overall, tobacco kills more than 7 million a year by causing a higher risk of cancer and heart disease. But many smokers in China and India are unaware of these health impacts, Bettcher said.

The two Asian powerhouses have the highest numbers of smokers worldwide, accounting for 307 million and 106 million, respectively, of the world’s 1.1 billion adult smokers, followed by Indonesia with 74 million, WHO figures show. — Reuters

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DOH proposes almost P1.5B for Dengvaxia assistance program

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House Committee on Appropriations discussed Wednesday, May 16, the proposed allotment of funds for Department of Health’s (DOH) Dengvaxia Assistance Program in accordance with House Bill Number 7449.

Present in the briefing were Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, officials from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO,) and parents of Dengvaxia vaccinees.

DOH presented before the committee its proposed allocation of the almost P1.5 billion fund which will be taken from the P1.61 billion refund from Sanofi Pasteur for the unused Dengvaxia vaccines.

In its proposal, DOH wants to use the said amount to provide medical assistance to Dengvaxia vaccinees (P84M); to fund DOH’s out-patient care package (P776.250M); to support the deployment of nurses for Health Education (P67.8M); proposed active case finding or profiling/navigation of vaccinees (P300M); and procurement of Dengvaxia medical kits (P270M)

However,committee chair Congressman Carlo Nograles opposed DOH’s appropriation of P270 million  for the purchase of medical kits citing that a larger fund is very much necessary to support the medical needs of Dengvaxia vaccinees.

Based on DOH’s records, there are at least 890,000 Dengvaxia vaccinees across the country. Parents of Dengvaxia vaccinees claimed during the briefing that more children injected with Dengvaxia are still unaccounted by health personnel.

In response to this, DOH appeals for the immediate approval of the budget proposal to deploy nurses who would do the profiling and monitoring of Dengvaxia vaccinees.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, meanwhile, suggested extending the use of funds preferably up to 2019 to accommodate requests from other agencies. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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PAO files 6th Dengvaxia-related criminal case with DOJ

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, May 4th, 2018

The controversial anti-dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia


MANILA, Philippines – Health Secretary Francisco Duque is facing new criminal raps over the Dengvaxia controversy.

Duque, along with former Secretary Janette Garin, and over 30 health officials and officers of Sanofi Pasteur and Zuellig Pharma, are being charged for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and violation of the anti-torture act.

The case stemmed from the death of thirteen-year-old Jansyn Art Bataan of Brgy. 177, Camarin, Caloocan City, who died last January, two months after receiving a Dengvaxia shot.

The victim’s father narrated that his son was inoculated on November 29 without their consent.

“I scolded my son. I asked him, Why did you agree to have the shot? You didn’t even ask me about it. Why didn’t the school ask for our consent?” the father of the victim, Darwin Bataan said.

The boy fell ill several days later and died within 24 hours after being admitted to the hospital.

The forensic team of the Public Attorney’s Office is convinced that Dengvaxia led to his death.

PAO chief, Atty. Persida Acosta, said Duque is liable because the inoculation happened under his watch.

“He was injected November 29. Sec. Duque assumed [office] on November 6. He continued the vaccination program,” Atty. Acosta added.

This is the sixth criminal case filed by the Public Attorney’s Office in relation to the Dengvaxia mess.

“Act now, President Duterte. I am calling on you. Listen to our pleas,” Merlyn Bataan, mother of a victim said.

The parents of Dengvaxia victims demanded anew

the secretary’s resignation. —Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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