DOH, WHO encourages public to access free mental health course online

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 9, 2020   •   125

The Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging the public to enroll in the free online course about mental health.

The QualityRights Mental Health e-training course was developed by WHO and translated in Filipino in partnership with the DOH. It aims to improve access to quality mental health and social services.

Participants of the online course, according to the Health Department, will be able to improve their own mental health as well as support their friends and love ones who are experiencing mental health problems.

Interested individuals can register for free at http://bit.ly/QualityRightsPH.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III hopes the free online course will be able to help in addressing the mental health conditions and cognitive disabilities in the country.

“Mental health is a major public health concern that needs to be openly discussed and addressed. With the e-learning modules translated in Filipino, we hope to educate more people and facilitate more discussions that will ultimately help us understand and address the need of Filipinos with mental health conditions, and other intellectual and cognitive disabilities,” he said. AAC

DOH reiterates warning vs use of misting, fog machines as disinfectants

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2020

Misting and fog machines are still not recommended by the Department of Health (DOH) to be used as disinfectants to protect individuals from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The health department said there is no concrete evidence proving the effectiveness of such machines in killing the virus. Instead, these machines pose risks in further spreading the virus in the environment.

“The routine application of disinfectants to environmental surfaced by spraying or fogging in indoor spaces also known as fumigation or misting is not recommended for COVIID-19,” according to DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report in May stating that misting machines used as a disinfectant might result in skin irritation and difficulty in breathing. Fogging, meanwhile, may have negative environmental effects.

Iyan po iyong kasama sa sinasabing rekomendasyon ng WHO that it may cause harm, cause more harm than good (That is included in WHO’s recommendation), Vergeire said.

The health department reminded households to use the right amount of disinfectant directly on objects or any household items.

The DOH added it is better to wipe the surface with disinfectant instead of just spraying them. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Ombudsman suspends 5 DOH officials for delay in release of frontliner benefits

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2020

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered a preventive suspension against five Department of Health (DOH) officials for the alleged delays in the release of frontliner benefits.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires signed the order on Tuesday (October 27) to preventively suspend for six months Health Undersecretary Roger Tong-an; Kenneth Ronquillo, Maylene Beltran, Laureano Cruz and Esperanza Carating.

The order is to prevent the officials from potentially tampering with documents or evidence while an investigation on the health department is ongoing.

The investigation was opened in June to look into the alleged delay in the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other medical gears, alleged lapses that led to the rising number of health workers infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), inaction to the release of financial benefits for fallen medical workers, as well as confusing and delayed reports of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The DOH previously welcomed the said investigation and assured they will fully cooperate with the appropriate authorities. AAC

WHO solidarity trial in PH to begin in December—DOH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 27, 2020

The solidarity trial of the World Health Organization (WHO) for potential vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Philippines and other countries will begin in December.

Department of Health (DOH) Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said 150 to 200 will participate in the trial in 12 sites in the country.

Sa November kasi parang maguumpisa sa isang site and mag-follow na po iyong iba’t ibang clinical trials in the other countries including the Philippines by December of 2020 (The trial will begin in November in one site and it will be followed by other clinical trials in other countries including the Philippines by December of 2020), she said.

The Health Department also announced Interferon will no longer be a part of WHO’s solidarity trial. Vergeire reported the said drug did not reduce the mortality rate of COVID-19 patients.

Iyong gamot hindi na-reach objective (The medicine did not reach its objective),” she said.

The WHO has previously discontinued the use of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir treatment after seeing no signs of effectiveness in treating COVID-19 patients.

Meanwhile, the WHO added two drugs for the therapeutics solidarity trial, which include Acalabrutinib that is used for the chemotherapeutic regimen of patients. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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