DOH warns of water-borne diseases with the onset of Typhoon Ompong
Marje Pelayo • September 13, 2018 • 4115
File photo: A man wades in floodwater after a strong typhoon inundated parts of Bulacan province.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has raised a code white alert in anticipation of disease outbreaks in areas affected by Typhoon Ompong.
The potential super typhoon is expected to cause flooding. In such situations, the DOH advises parents to monitor their children and bar them from playing, wading, or swimming in floodwater where water-borne diseases usually lurk.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo explained that aside from leptospirosis, there are other diseases that people can acquire from exposure to rain and floodwater, starting with the most common fever and flu followed by dengue, diarrhea and cholera.
The health official added that floodwater is obviously contaminated with bacteria and viruses that can be harmful and fatal once they enter the human body.
“Pakiusap namin sa mga magulang, kasi po kapag talagang nagtampisaw ang bata sa tubig na marumi, ang lahat ng sakit ay nandoon na. Mayroong bacteria, mayroong fungus, may virus katulad ng leptospirosis,” he said.
Domingo referred in particular to areas near water drainage, toilets, and sewage systems.
“Hindi natin alam kung saan nangagaling ang tubig. Kasama na po iyong dumi galing sa imburnal, sa kalye at kapag nainom pa ng bata ito habang nagswi- swimming siya at naglalaro doon, papasok pa sa katawan niya. Napakarami pong sakit na makukuha sa marumuning tubig,” he warned.
The health official advises households to always store clean water especially during the onslaught of a typhoon for domestic use and more importantly for drinking.
“Ang water supply natin maaring ma-contaminate iyong pinagkukuhanan ng tubig lalo na iyong mga gagamitin na inumin or gagamiting pantimpla ng halimbawa ipapainom sa mga bata. Common din ang mga sakit na gastroenteritis, hepatitis at may mga mas grabe pa katulad ng typhoid (fever) at cholera,” Domingo warned.
The DOH reminds the public to immediately bring to the nearest hospital or health center anyone who is experiencing severe diarrhea or loose bowel movement of up to four times a day to prevent dehydration.
The agency has secured enough supply of oral re-hydration solution in rural health units nationwide. – Marje Pelayo (with a report from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to achieve 30,000 daily tests for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by the end of the month as it works to ramp up the country’s testing capacity.
The DOH set the target after it finally attained its first target to conduct 8,000 COVID-19 tests in a day.
On Sunday, May 10, the agency reported it has conducted 8,637 tests in one day. This is, however, 10 days past its target date of April 30.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the tests were done on 158,176 unique individuals.
She explained that one of the causes of the delay was the slow processing of samples after the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) had to scale down its operations in April when over 40 of its medical staff contracted COVID-19.
The RITM has since returned to normal operations after most of its personnel recovered from the disease.
So far, the Philippines has 26 accredited laboratories capable of detecting the strain of coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19.
Vergeire said they are eyeing to open additional testing facilities to reach its target of 30,000 daily tests.
This way, the country will be able to improve efforts on contact tracing, isolation and treatment of COVID-19 patients to effectively curb the spread of the disease.
“Hindi pa po tapos ang laban ng World War C (COVID-19) sa bawa’t bagong impormasyon bawa’t bagong teknolohiyang nadidiskubre upang malabanan ang COVID-19 tayo’y dapat maging manatiling alerto dahil ang bawa’t bagay na nagagawa natin ay mayron buhay na mailigtas,” Vergeire said.
To date, the Philippines has recorded 11,086 confirmed coronavirus infections, with 726 deaths and 1,999 recovered patients. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)
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
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