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DOH lauds increase in immunization response; measles death hits 70

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 11 February 2019 05:24 PM

Healthcare workers administering vaccinations

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) lauded the return of public trust in government immunization program especially amid the ongoing outbreak of measles infection in the country.

“Ako po’y natutuwa na ang mga magulang po ngayon mukhang nagbabago na ang kanilang pananaw patungkol po sa ating immunization program ng DOH,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Chona Palen did not hesitate to have her daughter vaccinated since the outbreak of measles was declared.

Chona said she wants to make sure her children are protected especially the youngest who is nine months old.

“Talagang nag-aalala po talaga ako sa mga anak ko kasi tatlo iyong anak ko. Itong bunso talagang gusto ko talagang pabakunahan,” she said.

Based on the latest data from DOH, measles infection in the country reached to 4,302 cases and 70 deaths from January 1 to February 9, 2019.

The highest number of infection remains in the National Capital Region (NCR) with 1,296 and 18 deaths, followed by Calabarzon with 1,086 cases and 25 deaths; Central Luzon with 481 cases and 3 deaths; Western Visayas with 212 cases and four deaths; and Northern Mindanao with 189 cases and five deaths.

Most of the patients were children aged four and below, with 66% having no vaccination history since birth.

Duque explained that health experts do not recommend measles vaccination to infants 0 to five months old.

It can only be given to children from nine months old and above, and a booster when they reach 12 to 15 months old.

“Kasi mura pa iyong kanilang immune system,” Duque said.

“Pangalawa, meron kasing maraming pag-aaral na lumalabas mayroon silang natural immunity, not really immunity but a protection —immunoglobulin (IGG). From the maternal circulation pumupunta sa bata as a protective antibody,” he added.

Duque said that the only solution when the patient is that young is to isolate the infant infected with measles.

“Iyon lang ang solution natin, isolation lang talaga kung mayroon na and let the body take care of its own,” the DOH secretary said.

The DOH assured that the country has enough supply of measles vaccine this outbreak season.

Thus, it encourages parents to bring their children to the nearest health center for immunization before its too late. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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DOH limits per patient’s watcher in hospitals hit by water shortage

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 06:55 PM

A father watches over his child at a public hospital

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is looking to strictly implement a ‘one watcher, one patient’ policy in hospitals hit by the Manila Water supply shortage.

During a press conference at the National Kidney Institute of the Philippines (NKTI) in Quezon City on March 14, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said a confined patient would only be allowed to have one visitor or watcher to minimize water use.

Duque appealed to patients and their kin to bear with the policy as hospital managements are prioritizing water use for critical care.

He added that this is just temporary given the current situation in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal Province.

Duque said they have identified five hospitals that are affected by the Manila Water’s supply issues. These are NKTI, the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig, the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

Manila Water has earlier assured to prioritize hospitals in its distribution of water supply.

READ: Duque assures enough water supply in hospitals amid water shortage

Duque said hospitals can still sustain their current level of operations on just 50 percent of their average daily consumption.

Water is important for hospitals, such as the NKTI for its hospital operations and dialysis sessions.

READ: NKTI to use other dialysis method to cope with water shortage

NKTI earlier said they will be using peritoneal dialysis method which only requires around six liters of water, compared with hemodialysis which consumes 100 liters of water per session. — Robie de Guzman

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DOH: even a little water can serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 04:34 PM

The Department of Health (DOH) has raised concerns during the ongoing water shortage in Metro Manila and nearby areas especially with the increasing dengue cases in the country.

The recent report of DOH Epidemiology Bureau has recorded 40,614 dengue cases dengue cases from January 1 to March 2 which is 68% higher compared to the same period last year.

According to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, the water collected by residents can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes especially if it is not used immediately.

Duque encourages the public to use the 4-S strategy:

  • Search and destroy breeding places
  • Secure self-protection
  • Seek early consultation
  • Support spraying to prevent impending outbreak

“Pwedeng takpan ng plastic, talian sa may labi ng mga lalagyan at siguraduhin na ito’y hindi mapamugaran ng mga lamok. Doon ang kiti- kiti ay dadami, magiging lamok at sila ay magkakalat ng sakit sa dengue, [They can cover it with plastic and ensure that it will not become breeding grounds for mosquitoes because it can cause dengue],” he added. —Aileen Cerrudo

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DOH lists diseases that contaminated water brings

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 08:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Tainted water or anything that has been contaminated with bacteria and other harmful organisms must not be consumed by humans due to risks of contracting diseases, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

When in doubt if water is clean or when a water pipe leaks, DOH said, water must be boiled two to three minutes prior to consumption.

DOH also does not recommend drinking urine, rainwater or sea water as these may contain natural and chemical waste materials which can harm one’s health.

Water sourced from deep wells can only be consumed after boiling, or when the deep well was dug far from a residential area.

“It is safe when a community, our houses are from the sources of drinking water. Houses should also have septic tanks where human wastes should go. There shouldn’t be contamination from the source of the drinking water,” DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Eric Domngo said.

He added that drinking contaminated water might cause a person to develop Hepatitis-A, Cholera, Diarrhea and Typhoid fever, which are among the water-borne diseases.

A person who seldom takes a bath or washes hands can also contract several diseases such as boils and measles.  

“Hand washing with soap and water really prevents a lot of diseases and transmission of diseases like sore eyes, measles and even chicken pox. Hand washing plays a big role to prevent transmission of diseases, keep clean and sanitize like using alcohol,” Domingo said.

Thoroughly washing ingredients like meat, fish and vegetables before cooking is also essential to prevent food poisoning, he added.

When it comes to personal hygiene, Domingo said, enough water and detergent must also be used in washing clothes.

However, use of too much fabric softener must be avoided to prevent body odor or even dermatitis, especially if clothes are not rinsed properly.

The Health Department also advises the public to save and store clean water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning.

Domingo added that water secreted by plants, such as cactus, bamboo and banana should only be used for survival.

He added that water is also very important in conducting medical operations and dialysis, and in maintaining cleanliness in hospitals to avoid infectious diseases which may lead to death. – Robie de Guzman / Aiko Miguel

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