DOH warns of water-borne diseases with the onset of Typhoon Ompong

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2018   •   3906

 

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)

 

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

DOH warns public of diseases from drinking contaminated water

Marje Pelayo   •   June 27, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Due to frequent service interruptions, clients of Maynilad and Manila Water are depending on water rations to survive their daily need for water.

Households are making sure to store water which they can use when taps run out of water.

But the Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public to be very careful in using stored water as they may be contaminated.

The Health Department explained that bacteria may thrive in stored water usually in open containers and those that are not regularly cleaned.

Also, tap water may be contaminated from being stuck in the faucet during longer hours of service interruptions.

“Iyong mga organisms na galing sa surroundings, sa maduming water, sa soil pwedeng mapasok doon sa tubo kasi may leak (Organisms coming from the surroundings, from contaminated water, may enter the tap due to leak),” explained DOH-NCR Asst. Regional Director Paz Corrales.

“Siyempre darating ang tubig dadaan doon. Tayong mga household na mga consumers ng water ang siyang maaapektuhan (Water flows through it. The households will be the most affected),” she added.

The common types of water-borne diseases, according to DOH, are cholera, typhoid fever, and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and death.

Thus, the DOH advises the public to maintain the cleanliness of surroundings and make it a habit to you’re your hands especially the children.

If in doubt, bring the tap water into boil to kill the bacteria.

Aqua tabs or chlorine tabs are also available and can be acquired for free in local health centers.

“The usual na pakuluan ang tubig na lumalabas pero ang pagpapakulo ay hindi iyong (basta) pinakulo mo na,papatayin mo na (dapat) 10 minutes (The usual is we boil tap water but it is not just mere boiling. It has to be at least 10 minutes boiling time),” explained Corrales.

The DOH also reminds the public to make sure that water containers are covered to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

It would also help if we use water filters to separate and eliminate residues from the running water.

For nursing mothers, breastfeeding is also very important to strengthen the baby’s immune system.

“We really promote exclusive breastfeeding kasi sa breastfeeding, you get the most nutritious of the nutritious food. The very essential nutrients ay nandodoon (are present in it) to help you combat infection,” Corrales concluded. – with details from Aiko Miguel

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