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DOH targets to deworm 19M children in January

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The Department of Health targets to deworm a total of 19 million children in public schools this January.

The Department of Health targets to deworm a total of 19 million children in public schools this January.

MANILA — Paleness, sleepiness, tiredness and bloating are some of the common symptoms of children with intestinal parasites in their stomachs.

With this, the Department of Health (DOH) reminds the importance of deworming children to maintain their good health.

“Important benefits of deworming is actually in terms of the nutrition of the child. So, there is better absorption of the nutrients and therefore the overall health and well-being of the child is greatly improved. The resistance to infection and illnesses is improved as well as the mental capacities,” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial explained.

Since January is the National School Deworming Month, DOH encourages parents, teachers, and local government units to support the department’s ‘Oplan Goodbye Bulate‘.

DOH targets to deworm children aged 5 to 18 years old in public schools.

“The program aims to deworm approximately 19 million school-aged children enrolled in public schools (kindergarten to K-12) and at least 23 million pre-school and school-aged children not enrolled in public schools,” said Sec. Ubial.

The public may also avail of the free deworming services in health centers, rural health units, and barangay health stations nationwide.

A child just needs to take one purgative tablet to flush out the worms inside his or her intestine in just 24 hours.

Children who have undergone deworming will experience a minimal side effect like nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, assures that the medicine for deworming is safe to take.

“We are concerned in particular about the impact of this infection on children,” said Dr. Gundo Weiler of World Health Organization. “We have an easy intervention to take 1 pill per child twice a year and we have safe drugs. The safety has been proven hundreds of millions of times around the world of this medicine.”

DOH calls on parents to have their children undergo deworming especially those aged 10 and below to avoid illnesses. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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WHO recommends testing before use of Sanofi’s dengue vaccine

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Boxes of anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia are placed inside a freezer for storage at the Manila Health Department in Sta Cruz, metro Manila, Philippines December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

PARIS/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday Sanofi’s vaccine against dengue should only be used after testing on individuals to assess whether they have ever been exposed to the infection.

After a two-day meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, experts at the U.N. agency recommended extra safety measures for the medicine, sold as Dengvaxia.

“We have now clear information that the vaccine needs to be dealt with in a much safer way by using it exclusively in people already infected with dengue before,” Alejandro Cravioto, Chair of the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization, told reporters.

“It requires for the people to be tested through a system that is not currently available but that we feel will be developed in the next years,” he said.

Sanofi said in a statement: “We are confident in Dengvaxia’s safety and its proven potential to reduce dengue disease burden in endemic countries.”

Sanofi also said it would “continue to work with the international public health community and endemic countries, to ensure the best usage of the vaccine.”

The French drugmaker warned in November that Dengvaxia, first approved in late 2015, could increase the risk of severe dengue in some cases in people who had not been previously exposed to the disease.

Mosquito-borne dengue is the world’s fastest-growing infectious disease, afflicting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. It causes half a million life-threatening infections and kills about 20,000 people, mostly children, annually.


Dengvaxia, the world’s sole licensed vaccine against dengue, is at the center of a health scare in the Philippines where the government suspended its use last year amid safety fears.

The company has repeatedly said it knows of no deaths resulting from the medicine.

Joachim Hombach, executive secretary of WHO’s SAGE group, said: “For us, the primary consideration is to assure our recommendation makes public health sense in terms of ensuring the use of vaccine will maximize public health benefit and minimize risk.”

“It is very important we signal ways in which this vaccine could be used,” he said, adding that it was up to the company to decide how to deal with this.

Hombach defended the WHO’s initial recommendation that the vaccine could be used in children aged 9 and older in places where 70 percent of the population had previously been exposed to the virus, and were likely to benefit from the vaccine.

He said the WHO pointed out a gap in data on the use of the vaccine in people who had never been exposed to the virus, and asked Sanofi to study the impact of the vaccine on children who had never been exposed to the virus.

That study resulted in Sanofi’s announcement last November.


Executives at Sanofi have denied any wrongdoing and insist on the benefits the medicine brings as a whole.

In a interview with Reuters last month, David Loew, head of Sanofi Pasteur, the group’s vaccines division, said Sanofi remained committed to Dengvaxia.

He added Sanofi was holding discussions with external partners and universities to come up with a test which would be applicable before vaccination. Such a test, however, would take at least two years to bring to the market, he said.

Dengvaxia has been approved and registered in 19 countries and is currently under review by the European Medicines Agency.

Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical, the United States National Institute of Health and Brazil’s Butantan Institute are developing rival products.

Initially seen as potential $1-billion-a-year-plus product, Dengvaxia net sales stood at 3 million euros ($3.71 million) in 2017 as Sanofi was forced to buy back unused doses. The company took a charge of 87 million euros in the fourth quarter.

($1 = 0.8090 euros)

Editing by Jane Merriman

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WHO, PH to promote breast cancer awareness among Filipinos in East Timor

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: The World Health Organization (WHO) logo is pictured at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva, January 25, 2015.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippine Embassy have launched a program that aims to promote breast cancer awareness among Filipino workers in East Timor.

Ambassador Abdulmaid Muin said the program would help educate Filipinos in East Timor on the ways to prevent getting the said disease and how to help those who are suffering from it.

“Reminders to females here to be careful of breast cancer. Believe what the doctors say. Be concerned of this dreaded disease,” said the ambassador.

“When you feel that there is any abnormality, you have to go and seek for medical checkup so that we can detect early stage of cancer,” WHO specialist gynecologist and obstetrician – Timor-Leste country office Dr. Amitha Thapa said.

Filipinos who attended the event have expressed support for the said program, and noted that it provided them with valuable insight into the deadly disease . — UNTV News & Rescue

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Over P22-M, spent for hospitalization of Dengvaxia vaccinees — DOH

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, April 14th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A health worker injects Dengvaxia

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health’s (DOH) dengue adverse events surveillance has listed more than 3,000 dengvaxia vaccinees who became severely sick and were admitted to hospitals from 2016 to 2018.

More than 1,000 of them have tested positive for dengue. There are 65 recorded death cases and 13 of which had died of dengue infection.

The health department has spent more than P22.1 million for the medical services and hospitalization of vaccinees from different regions.

“Financial assistance to Dengvaxia vaccinees who got sick and were admitted to hospitals in the NCR, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Cebu regions as additional support for our patients,” said Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

DOH is currently examining if the diseases which caused the death of the vaccinees have links to Dengvaxia and real effects of the said vaccine

“That’s why we collect the data from all of them so that when we take a look and we can see kung merong connection talaga (if there really is a connection) including of course doon sa fatalities natin (among the fatalities),” said the undersecretary.

The DOH expects the findings of the 17 cases of Dengvaxia vaccinees whose deaths are linked to Dengvaxia from the UP-PGH-DITF (Philippine General Hospital Dengue Investigative Task Force) to be released next week.

“The PGH-DITF is almost finalizing the report. Meron lang kasi alam kong isang pending case kasi may isang adult (There’s just one pending case involving an adult). Most of the members of the DITF initially were really pediatricians tapos nagkaroon tayo ng isang adult case iyong (then an adult case turned up, the) utility worker ng (of the)police, so this one they have to refer it to an internist,” said Domingo.

Meanwhile, health department is waiting for the approval of both houses of Congress for the use of P1.16  billion from the refund of Sanofi Pasteur for the Dengvaxia assistance program. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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