Dengue cases in PH down this year despite rainy season, DOH says

Robie de Guzman   •   September 4, 2020   •   407

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported that it has observed a decrease in the incidence of dengue cases in the country this year.

In a statement, the DOH said the number of deaths due to dengue declined by as much as 78% from January 1 to August 15 this year.

The department noted that cases of water-borne infection diseases, influenza, leptospirosis, dengue (WILD) usually peak at the start of the rainy season in the months of July and October. But for the year 2020, there was an observed significant decrease in the number of cases compared to the same period in 2019.

According to Dr. Norielyn Evangelista, Program Manager of the National Aedes-born Viral Diseases Prevention and Control Program, around 430,282 dengue cases were recorded for the whole of 2019.

But for this year, it significantly declined to 59,675, Evangelista said.

Dengue mortalities have also dropped from 2019 with 1,612 deaths versus 231 in 2020, she added.

“After the dengue epidemic of 2019, we have been working vigorously to decrease dengue cases via a systemic approach that involves every level of the community,” Evangelista said.

The DOH official attributed the sharp decline in dengue cases to its strengthened initiatives, including surveillance, case management and diagnosis, outbreak response, and health promotion.

It also cited its cooperation with medical centers and local government units which aims to reduce WILD cases.

“Tulad ng laban kontra sa COVID-19, mas maiiwasan ang sakit kung tayo ay magtutulungan sa ating mga healthcare workers at LGUs para tuluyang masugpo ang threat ng dengue sa ating bansa,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said.

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DOH vaccination activity vs measles, rubella, polio extends until March 7

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health (DOH) has extended the Measles, Rubella, and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA) until March 7.

The health department said this is in order to reach the target population of 95%.

As of March 1, 2021, the health department reported that of the national target, 83.7% or 4,269,423 have been vaccinated against Measles and Rubella; while 3,939,677 or 82.4% have been vaccinated against Polio.

The extension of the immunization program aims to vaccinate over 800,000 more children in the target regions in the country.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III encourages parents and legal guardians to have their 0-59 month old children vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases under the MR-OPV SIA.

“To our parents and guardians, let us retain our confidence in vaccines and put our trust in science. These vaccines are proven safe and effective. Let us protect our children and not deny them the opportunity to grow into healthy individuals, free from vaccine-preventable illnesses,” he said. -AAC

Mga pulitiko at non-frontliners na nagpabakuna vs COVID-19, paiimbestigahan – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   March 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Paiimbestigahan ng Department of Health (DOH) ang ilang pulitiko at non-frontliners na umano’y nagpaturok ng Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines sa ilalim ng vaccination roll out ng pamahalaan kahit wala naman sila sa priority list.

Ayon kay Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, prayoridad ng vaccination program ng pamahalaan na mabigyan ng bakuna ang healthcare workers alinsunod sa guidelines na inilabas ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID).

“Hindi ko pa kasi nakikita yung listahan na yan but we will have it investigated kung papaanong nangyari because malinaw naman yung ating prioritization formula na nakalagay po doon mga healthcare workers lang,” ang wika ni Duque.

Nilinaw naman ng pinuno ng DOH na hindi kasali sa polisiya sina vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., testing czar Secretary Vince Dizon at Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos.

Aniya, pinakiusapan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang tatlo na magpabakuna sa layuning pataasin ang kumpiyansa ng publiko sa COVID-19 vaccine.

“’Yang mga ‘yan, pinakiusapan mismo ni Pangulo para lang ang kaniyang pakay, tumaas ang vaccine confidence. So, hindi naman yan parang napakadami, parang tatlong doses lang yan over 600,000,” ng pahayag ni Duque.

Samantala, nagpahayag naman ng suporta ang ilang Metro Manila mayors sa panawagan ng DOH na unahin ang frontline workers sa vaccine rollout at saka na lamang sila magpabakuna kapag natapos na ang vaccination sa mga nasa priority list.

Ayon sa DOH, ang sinomang lumabag sa polisiya ay dapat isangguni sa IATF upang mapatawan ng kaukulang aksyon. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

12,000 doses of CoronaVac arrive in Davao City; vaccination rollout to start on Friday

Maris Federez   •   March 2, 2021

DAVAO CITY, Philippines Aboard the flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), 12,000 doses (placed in 20 boxes) of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccines arrived at the Davao International Airport on Tuesday, March 2, at 6:45 in the morning.

The 12,000 doses of CoronaVac are allocated for the vaccination of more than 8,000 frontliners, most of whom are healthcare workers (HCW).

However, the vaccines were brought to the Department of Health (DOH) Regional office, instead of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) as originally planned.

The DOH said this is because Sinovac vaccines are not as temperature-sensitive as that of Pfizer vaccines which the SPMC storage facility was designed and constructed for.

CoronaVac can be stored in a storage facility with a +2 to +8˚Celsius temperature, as compared to that of Pfizer vaccines which require a -70˚Celsius temperature.

The DOH said they did not encounter any problems in the transportation of the vaccines from the airport to the DOH office.

The health department also reported that the vaccination rollout among frontliners will begin on Friday, with a target of 150 HWCs.

Based on the DOH priority list, 3,000 HCWs from the SPMC will be inoculated first, to be followed by those from private hospitals.

SPMC OIC Dr. Ricardo Audan, Davao City COVID-19 focal person Dr. Ashley Lopez, and DOH Regional Director Annabelle Yumang volunteered to receive the vaccines first to set an example to their colleagues. —/mbmf (with details from Davao Correspondent, Marisol Montaño)

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