MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public against the possible outbreak of waterborne and foodborne illnesses, influenza-like illnesses, leptospirosis and dengue (WILD) diseases after consecutive typhoons hit the country.
According to the Health Department, the widespread flooding and damage caused by the typhoons have brought health hazards to the public, especially the victims staying in evacuation centers.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured that the department and local government units (LGUs) are prepared to prevent any possible outbreaks. He also added that the DOH has released guidelines to its regional offices for contingency measures.
“We are very wary of possible outbreak of communicable, waterborne and vector-borne diseases after disasters, lalo pa ngayong may pandemiya na maaring magdulot ng (especially during this pandemic which can cause) complex situation,” he said in a statement.
Duque also cited the importance of practicing minimum health and safety protocols in evacuation centers. AAC
The Department of Health (DOH) will conduct a nationwide measles and polio supplemental immunization campaign starting October 26.
DOH Secretary Secretary Francisco Duque said there is still a need to prevent possible measles outbreak especially while the country is facing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
As of August 2020, there are around 3,500 reported measles cases with 36 deaths. Most of the cases are among children under five years old.
The nationwide Measles Rubella-Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization campaign will be rolled out in two phases. The DOH will be conducting the campaign for children under five years old which is around 9.4 million children for the measles-rubella vaccine and 6.9 million children for the oral polio vaccine.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a high-quality immunization campaign is urgently needed to stop measles transmission and possible outbreaks. We encourage parents and caregivers to have their children immunized. The measles vaccine is safe, effective and free,” he said.
The DOH’s immunization campaign is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnoro said there have been immunization challenges brought by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are at an especially challenging time when immunization for children is being threatened. All of us must do our part in ensuring children in our family are immunized, and that we provide the correct information to parents, community members and among our peers,” she said.
Meanwhile, Duque also assured that the health care workers who will participate in the campaign have been trained and will be provided with personal protective equipment.
The Phase 1 of the campaign will be conducted from 26 October to 25 November 2020 in Mindanao Regions, CAR, I, II, IV-B and V. Phase 2 will be conducted in February 2021 in Visayas Regions, NCR, III and IV-A. AAC
Police frontliners will undergo physical and mental check up beginning July 1, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac said their troops that are manning checkpoints and other areas are also at risk for stress and anxiety, particularly when most of them have not been home for months.
Banac said a group of psychologists will monitor the physical and mental health of police officers.
“Kasabay niyan ang laboratory, X-Ray at ang ECG… so titingnan ang physical well-being mg mga pulis ( It includes laboratory, X-Ray, and ECG…so we will monitor the well-being of the police),” he said.
Banac also said they will prioritize police officers age 40 years old and above and those who will undergo the health check up should wear their complete uniform.
“Alam natin na kapag 40 years old and above mas marami nang dinaramdam physically at madali na silang maka-experience ng stress at fatigue (We know that 40-year-olds and above are more susceptible to experiencing physical fatigue. They experience stress more easily),” he added.
Police officers with the birth month of January will be scheduled for the physical and neuro-exam from July 1 to 3. Meanwhile those born in February and March will be scheduled from July 6 to 8 and July 9 to 13, respectively. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
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