DOH suspects eggs served at Imelda’s birthday behind food poisoning

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 4, 2019   •   2052

The pre-packed lunch consisting of rice with chicken adobo and egg that is suspected to have caused the poisoning of over guests at former first lady Imelda Marcos’s birthday celebration on July 2, 2019

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said the egg served during former first lady Imelda Marcos’s birthday celebration may have caused the food poisoning of over 200 guests.

“It could have come from the eggs, because the most common report is that the eggs tasted rotten, if not spoiled. It could be contamination already,” according to Duque.

Victims said they have eaten rice with chicken adobo and egg. One of the guests, Alice Cañarez, recalled that the said food was served first.

“Marami pong nag-donate ng pagkain. Although iyong talagang naunang kainin ng mga tao ay iyong cater po na naka-packed lunch, (Many have donated food. Although the first one served was the packed lunch),” she said.

The health department is currently examining the food and water served during the birthday celebration.

They will also monitor the situation of the victims even after their discharge from the hospital. Duque said they will monitor the victims’ oral re-hydration until they fully recover.

Meanwhile in a statement, former Senator Bongbong Marcos apologized for the incident and assured they will provide assistance to the victims of food poisoning.

“Kami po ay nakikipag-ugnayan sa mga maaapektuhan at patuloy na umaasikaso sa kanila. Ako po ay humihingi ng pahumanhin at lubos na pag-unawa sa nangyaring ito. Makakaasa po kayo sa aming tulong hanggang sa ang lahat ay tuluyang gumaling, (We are coordinating with the affected individuals and continuing to assist them. I apologize and ask for your understanding. We assure to provide assistance until everyone fully recover)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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

Maris Federez   •   November 15, 2019

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

29 evacuees now discharged after treatment for food poisoning

Marje Pelayo   •   November 6, 2019

Earthquake victims in Makilala town, North Cotabato suffered abdominal pains followed by vomiting after eating pastel for lunch on Monday, November 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – All 29 victims of food poisoning in Makilala, Cotabato were already discharged from the hospital.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), evacuees from Barangay Malabuan suffered stomach pains followed by vomiting after eating pastel that was part of the donated food packages in the evacuation center.

To prevent the incident from happening again, authorities improved security measures at checkpoints to ensure the quality of food being delivered to the evacuees.

The agency also called on all donors to make sure that food donations are properly prepared and packed to prevent spoilage.

“Hindi naman po natin masisisi ang kung sino man dito sa nangyari (We can’t blame anyone for what happened),” Timbal said.

“But we will do our best to ensure (that this won’t happen again),” he added.

Meanwhile, the national government is sending additional funds for the rehabilitation of earthquake-affected towns in Mindanao.

Earlier on Wednesday (November 6), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana together with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año visited Kidapawan City Provincial Capitol to check on the situation.

Lorenzana said local chief executives are asking for additional budget as they have already used up most of their calamity fund.

Apart from rehabilitation, the national government also provided for the relocation of the victims who lost their homes from the earthquake. – MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)

DOH wants tax on salty food products

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to propose imposing additional taxes on salty food products in a bid to lower the high incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.

High consumption of salt is one of the causes of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, stroke and chronic respiratory illnesses. Excessive salt intake is also related to hypertension, kidney diseases and cardiovascular problems, according to the DOH.

DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Eric Domingo noted that the recommended salt intake per day for adult Filipinos is just under a teaspoon or around two grams.

The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said that the recommended salt intake per day should be less than five grams.

“Ang cause ng hypertension sa atin, maliban sa paninigarilyo, ay pagkain ng maalat. Dapat po isang tao, 2 grams lang per day, tayo po ang konsyumo natin 11-15 grams per day, so tayo ay 4-5 times sa mga Filipino,” Domingo said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.

High sodium intake raises blood pressure that leads to stroke and heart diseases, the two biggest causes of death and disability worldwide, according to the WHO.

In the Philippines, the DOH reported that more than 170,000 individuals die each year from heart diseases, specifically hypertension.

To curb the high incidence of these diseases and to help encourage people to eat healthy foods, the DOH is pushing for the imposition of additional taxes on products with too much salt.

Domingo cited the experience of several countries that imposed tax on unhealthy food which forced companies to adjust their product formulation.

“And it has been found in many countries that when you tax products that are unhealthy, talagang nagde-decrease kasi ang intake and the companies reformulate yung kanilang product,” he said.

The government has implemented tax on sugary drinks as well as on tobacco products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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