Water could have sickened guests in Imelda Marcos’ birthday party – DOH

Marje Pelayo   •   July 5, 2019   •   763

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is now testing samples of the drinking water served to guests in the birthday party of former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

The test is to determine what could have caused stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting among the guests in Marcos’ birthday party at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City on Tuesday (July 2).

“Ite-test din natin kung mayroong bacteria o kung contamination iyong tubig (We will test (the water) for possible bacteria or contamination),” explained DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

“Kasi maaaring hindi lamang sa pagkain. Maaaring sa tubig ito nanggaling (Because it may not just be from food. It could also be from the water),” he added.

Domingo said the test may take to about three to five days so they may be able to release the result by early next week. – with details from Aiko Miguel

29 evacuees now discharged after treatment for food poisoning

Marje Pelayo   •   November 6, 2019

Earthquake victims in Makilala town, North Cotabato suffered abdominal pains followed by vomiting after eating pastel for lunch on Monday, November 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – All 29 victims of food poisoning in Makilala, Cotabato were already discharged from the hospital.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), evacuees from Barangay Malabuan suffered stomach pains followed by vomiting after eating pastel that was part of the donated food packages in the evacuation center.

To prevent the incident from happening again, authorities improved security measures at checkpoints to ensure the quality of food being delivered to the evacuees.

The agency also called on all donors to make sure that food donations are properly prepared and packed to prevent spoilage.

“Hindi naman po natin masisisi ang kung sino man dito sa nangyari (We can’t blame anyone for what happened),” Timbal said.

“But we will do our best to ensure (that this won’t happen again),” he added.

Meanwhile, the national government is sending additional funds for the rehabilitation of earthquake-affected towns in Mindanao.

Earlier on Wednesday (November 6), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana together with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año visited Kidapawan City Provincial Capitol to check on the situation.

Lorenzana said local chief executives are asking for additional budget as they have already used up most of their calamity fund.

Apart from rehabilitation, the national government also provided for the relocation of the victims who lost their homes from the earthquake. – MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)

Dengvaxia won’t bring dengue cases down – DOH

Maris Federez   •   August 8, 2019

The controversial dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday maintained that Dengavaxia is not the answer to the problem of the high incidence of dengue in the country.

DOH spokesperson and Officer in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Usec. Eric Domingo explained that dengue is not like any other disease where vaccination is the only solution.

He stressed that Dengvaxia is still not a registered drug in the country and its efficacy is not yet fully proven.

“This vaccine is not for an outbreak response. It’s designed for future use sa mga taong nagka- dengue na dati [for people who have had dengue before],” Domingo said.

A World Health Organization (WHO) report showed that “Dengvaxia was first licensed in Mexico in December 2015 for use in individuals 9-45 years of age living in endemic areas, and is now licensed in 20 countries.”

It was then used in 11 countries in 2016, including the Philippines.

But it was only in September 2018 that the WHO recommended that Dengvaxia be only administered to children who were previously infected with dengue, adding that it is dangerous for those who have not yet gotten the disease.

This caused among the public, as well as, experts as the Philippines is the only country who had used Dengvaxia vaccination on a wider scope, with more than 800,000 children inoculated.

The DOH maintained that there is still no concrete study to date that claimed that children who are vaccinated with Dengvaxia will never be infected with dengue.

“It’s very difficult because you’re tested and then you’re positive but you’re actually false positive. Then if you give the Dengvaxia, who knows that the severe dengue reaction will not occur in a particular individual. So, there’s a risk, in other words,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said.  (with details from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

PhilHealth to shoulder hospital expenses of victims of food poisoning

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 4, 2019

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) assured to shoulder the hospital expenses of the victims of food poisoning at the birthday celebration of former first lady Imelda Marcos.

PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales said all victims who are PhilHealth members and are confined in private and public hospitals can avail their benefits.

“PhilHealth pays up to P6,000 for food poisoning or acute gastroenteritis with moderate to severe dehydration when confined in any PhilHealth accredited hospital,” he said.

Meanwhile, non-members can avail the Point of Service (POS) Program in government hospitals.

“We want to assure those affected that in case hospitalization is required, they can bank on their PhilHealth coverage for financial protection,” Morales adds.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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