DOH warns: Firecracker wounds can lead to tetanus infection, death

Marje Pelayo   •   December 26, 2018   •   2316

FILE PHOTO: Fire-cracker injury

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is expecting more cases of firecracker-related injuries until the first week of next year.

In line with this, the DOH advises merry-makers to immediately go to the nearest hospital and seek medical help once hurt by firecracker to prevent tetanus infection.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo explains that any open wound such as burn or a cut caused by a firecracker is more likely to attract tetanus infection.

“Basta tayo ay naputukan kahit minor lang siya nasunog tayo kailangan talagang pumunta sa hospital kasi bibigyan ka ng anti- tetanus na injection kasama iyong toxoid at anti- tetanus serum,” Usec. Domingo said.

Domingo said only a few patients survive tetanus infection especially if the patient has not received the anti-tetanus vaccine.

Suspected cases of tetanus infection can be determined if a cut or a wound is followed by:

Stiffness of the neck, jaw, and other muscles, often accompanied by a distorted, grinning expression; difficulty swallowing; irritability; and uncontrollable spasms of the jaw commonly known as ‘lockjaw’.

Domingo said it is better to act ahead before the symptoms of tetanus infection manifest.

“Talagang nakakamatay po ang tetano. Maninigas. Iyong kanilang panga ay hindi gumagalaw. Nagku- kumbulsyon at sa katagalan ay namamatay within a week siguro or a few days so gusto natin i- prevent iyan,” the health official said.

In case of firework-related injuries, follow these three simple first-aid tips.

First, wash the injured part of the body with clean water.

Second, wrap the wound using clean cloth and bring the victim to the hospital immediately.

Third and for big wounds, use alkaline soap to clean the wound. Do not apply toothpaste or anything to the wound or burn.

As of press time, the DOH has recorded a total of 24 firecracker-related injuries since December 21, still lower than the same period last year.

Most of the victims are males age 2 to 49 years old.

The DOH has again reminded the public to refrain from purchasing and using strong and unauthorized firecrackers to be able to welcome the new year with a smile. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH agrees with FDA decision to ban Dengvaxia in Phl

Maris Federez   •   August 22, 2019

A Filipino nurse prepares to administer an anti-dengue vaccine during a nationwide vaccination at a school in the flood-prone city of Marikina, east of Manila, Philippines, 04 April 2016. (Photoville International / FILE)

The Department of Health (DOH) has rejected the request of Sanofi Pasteur to overturn the decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of Dengvaxia vaccine in the Philippines.

With this, the DOH approved the ruling of the FDA to permanently revoke the certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia for Sanofi’s failure to submit the necessary post-approval requirements.

“The decision concerns Sanofi’s complete disregard of FDA regulations, which were precisely put in place by law to ensure safety,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

Although Sanofi was able to submit the first two versions of its risk management plans (RMP), the pharmaceutical company failed to submit the third and final version of the plan.

The DOH said, however, that Sanofi may apply for a new certificate of product registration (CPR) for Dengvaxia but this must be in accordance with the FDA regulations.

“Given that Dengvaxia is an innovative drug, the importance of complying with these post-marketing commitments is critical to public safety,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the department has assured that it continues to address the increasing cases of dengue in the country. /mbmf

Police, military hospitals on standby amid national dengue alert

Marje Pelayo   •   July 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has tapped the service of military hospitals amid following the declaration of national dengue alert.

According to DOH Spokesperson Eric Domingo, they have asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to be on standby in case the number of dengue cases increases beyond government hospitals’ capacity.

“Ang PNP at ang AFP natin may mga hospitals din naman sila and we have to network with them in case na talagang dumami ang pasyente (The PNP and the AFP also have hospitals and we have to network with them in case the number of patients increases),” Domingo said.

“Halimbawa may mga lugar na malayo sa amin tapos sila may hospital maari kaming makipagtulungan para ma- admit din ang mga pasyente sa mga hospitals nila (There are certain areas beyond our reach where military hospitals are located. We can ask for help to admit the patients there in their hospitals),” he added.

On Wednesday (July 17), Health Secretary Francisco Duque III met with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Health Cluster to discuss measures to curb the sudden rise of dengue infections in the country.

The DOH is in cooperation with other agencies like the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in implementing actions in schools to prevent dengue, in educating the public on the dangers of dengue infection, and in coordinating with the local government units in destroying potential breeding grounds of dengue-carrying mosquitoes in different areas in the country.

“Kailangan talaga sa schools maglinis tayo, ma- educate natin iyong children at iyong parents kung paano iyong dapat natin gawin to prevent itong dengue at tsaka meron tayong changes sa mga patakaran sa school, (We need to have regularly clean up drive in schools and we need to educate the children and the parents on what to do to prevent dengue. Also, we have changes in school regulations,)” the DOH Spokesperson said.

Likewise, among the agencies’ action plans include designation of additional hospital rooms for dengue patients through Philippine Red Cross and the construction of extra hospital tents which can be used for emergency.

Domingo stressed the need to always be alert in providing the medical needs of dengue patients in order to prevent further deaths caused by dengue infection this year.

The DOH advises households to dispose stagnant water and dirty containers where dengue mosquitoes may breed.

Install protections such as window and door screens.

Likewise, do not let your child play or come near areas where mosquitoes are breeding.

Maganda pa rin talaga naka- pantalon at long sleeves ang mga bata para hindi siya makakagat ng lamok (It is better to have your child wear long pants and long sleeves to prevent mosquito bites),” Domingo advised.

The DOH, as always, reminds the public to immediately bring the patient to the nearest hospital if symptoms of dengue manifest.

The agency can be reached through the DOH hotline numbers 711-1001 and 711-1002 for inquiry about dengue. — with reports from Aiko Miguel

Dengue cases in Zamboanga Peninsula up by 81%

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 18, 2019

Dengue cases in Zamboanga Peninsula rose to 81 percent, according to the Department of Health (DOH) 9. Cases had reached 1,743 from January 1 to March 7, 2019.

Based on the report of the DOH 9, Zamboanga City reported 719 dengue cases, a 213% increase compared to the same period last year which recorded 230 cases. Zamboanga del Norte, on the other hand, recorded 499 cases which is a 222 percent increase from last year’s 155 cases.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga Sibugay recorded 175 dengue cases; Isabela City , Basilan, 99 cases; and Zamboanga Del Sur with 251.

READ: DOH: even a little water can serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes

The DOH reminds residents to implement the 4-S campaign against dengue and work on controlling the mosquito population.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously said, “The first step to prevent dengue is within our homes. It is important to remove any space or container that can hold unnecessary stagnant water which may become breeding sites for mosquitoes.”—Aileen Cerrudo

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