WHO: PH ranks third in highest number of measles cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 27, 2019   •   1858

The World Health Organization (WHO) has ranked the Philippines third among top ten countries with the highest number of measles cases in the world.

The Philippines recorded a total of 45,847 measles cases over a 12-month period up to June 2019. Madagascar ranked first, with over 150,000 cases and Ukraine followed with over 84,000 cases.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), the surge of measles cases in the country is due to vaccine hesitancy, which is defined by WHO as a “delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services.”

“This refers to mothers who became hesitant to have their children vaccinated with vaccines that were long proven to be effective,” the DOH said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had previously appealed to the “public to rebuild [your] trust and confidence in vaccines that were long proven to be effective.”—AAC

Police frontliners to undergo physical, mental health check—PNP

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2020

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)

Beat the heat: How to prevent heat exhaustion, heat stroke

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 5, 2020

Metro Manila recorded the highest air temperature so far on Monday (May 4).

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) recorded a soaring 36.5 degrees Celsius or an equivalent to a heat index of 41.0 degrees Celsius

With the intense heat and the ongoing enhanced community quarantine, anyone can suffer from heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion is a condition marked by weakness, nausea, dizziness, and profuse sweating that results from physical exertion in a hot environment.

Emergency Doctor Dr. Rich Santos said heat exhaustion can result in heat stroke. Heat stroke happens when an individual’s temperature reaches 41 degrees Celsius.

“Pwede ring magkaroon ng manifestation na nagkakaroon ka ng totoong stroke gaya ng paghina ng katawan. Kapag tumagal ka sa ganoong kundisyon pwede itong maging sanhi ng pagkamatay, (You can also have manifestations of a real stroke like fatigue. If the condition lasts if might become a cause of death)” he said.

Santos also said that recovering from a heat stroke can take weeks to months.

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Warm, flushed skin
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Very high fever of 41°C
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Convulsion
  • Unconsciousness

Here are several lifesaving tips when someone is having heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

  • Move the person to a shady spot or indoors
  • Have him/her lie down with legs elevated
  • If able to drink liquids, have him/her sip cool water
  • Remove clothing, apply cool water to the skin, & fan the person
  • Apply ice packs to the armpits, wrists, ankles & groin

The Department of Health (DOH) said to always keep hydrated to prevent heat exhaustion and schedule heavy-duty activities for the beginning or end of the day, when it’s cooler. AAC

No need for gyms, DOH advises public to exercise at home amid ECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 28, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) urges the public to exercise at home amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

With the extension of the ECQ in high-risk areas, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are still not going to recommend opening fitness gyms.

She said fitness centers are among the establishments that will remain temporarily closed to prevent the further spread of the virus.

“Sa tuwing iminumungkahi namin na mag-exercise para palakasin ang ating resistensiya, ang ibig naming sabihin dito ay ehersisyo sa loob ng ating bahay hangga’t makakaya, (Every time we suggest exercising to improve your immunity, we mean to exercise inside your homes as much as possible),” she said.

Meanwhile, there are barangays that conduct zumba classes while adhering to social distancing protocols. AAC

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