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WHO warns against the spread of antimicrobial resistance

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 20th, 2019

A person holds pharmaceutical tablets and capsules in this picture illustration taken in Ljubljana September 18, 2013. REUTERS/SRDJAN ZIVULOVIC.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns against the spread of antimicrobial resistance around the world.

A recent UN report showed that 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases. Among the 700,000 there are around 230,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

“Drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and damage to the economy as catastrophic as the 2008-2009 global financial crisis,” the report reads.

On June 18, the WHO launched a campaign which aims to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events and costs. 

The AWaRe tool or Access, Watch, Reserve tool aims to make antibiotic use safer and more effective. The tool specifies which antibiotics to use for the most common and serious infections.

Dr. Hanan Balkhy, WHO Assistant-Director General for antimicrobial resistance said tackling antimicrobial resistance requires a careful balance between access and preservation

“The AWaRe tool can guide policy to ensure patients keep being treated, while also limiting use of the antibiotics most at risk of resistance,” she said.—AAC

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WHO warns against falsified rabies and anti-rabies vaccines in PH

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Image by LuAnn Hunt from Pixabay

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against falsified rabies and anti-rabies vaccines circulating in the Philippines.

Based on their 2019 medical product alert, the WHO identifies three falsified rabies vaccines as Verorab, Speeda, and Rabipur. They also identified one anti-rabies called Equirab.

“Investigations are ongoing, and laboratory analyses are being facilitated for available samples to determine their contents and better assess the risk to public health.” according to the medical product alert.

WHO warns supply chains in the country, including hospitals, clinics, health centres, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies to remain vigilant for falsified products.

“All medical products must be obtained from authentic and reliable sources. Their authenticity and condition should be carefully checked. Seek advice from a healthcare professional in case of doubt,” WHO said.—AAC

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Dengue on the rise: How to protect your family against dengue virus

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday declared a national alert due to spiking dengue cases in several regions.

READ: DOH declares dengue alert in several regions

Data from the DOH showed that from January 1 to June 29, 2019, there have been 106,630 dengue cases this year. This is 85 percent higher than the 57,564 cases reported in the same period in 2018.

Regions where the dengue alert was raised include Regions 1, 2, 4A, 5, 8, 9, 11, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection commonly occurring in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, including the Philippines.

The dengue virus (DEN) comprises four distinct serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4) which belong to the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the main vector that transmits the viruses that cause dengue. The viruses are passed on to humans through the bites of an infective female Aedes mosquito, which mainly acquires the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person.

How dengue virus affects your body?

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Cybele Abad, in an interview with UNTV Digital program Lifesaver, said that when dengue virus enters the human body, it spreads through blood and infects the cells by binding itself to the cell membrane.

When this happens, an infected person may feel sudden, high fever followed by severe headaches, pain behind the eyes and severe joint and muscle pain. A person may also feel fatigue, nausea and skin rash which would appear two to five days after the onset of fever.

Watch this online episode of Lifesaver for more information on how dengue affects your body.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of dengue typically last two to seven days. Most people infected by the virus will recover after about a week.

However, some people who get sick with dengue may develop severe dengue, a more serious form of disease that can result in shock, internal bleeding and even death.

Symptoms of severe dengue include stomach or belly pain, bleeding from the nose or gums, vomiting blood or blood in the stool. Warning signs generally begin in 24-48 hours after your fever has gone away.

If you or a family member develops any of the following symptoms, immediately go to the nearest hospital.

How to prevent dengue?

To protect yourself and your family from dengue, the DOH advises the public to follow the 4S strategy: Search and destroy, Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation and Support fogging/spraying.

The DOH said it is important to search and destroy the breeding sites of mosquitoes such as containers that can store water; employ self-protection measures by installing screen on windows and doors in homes and schools, wear long socks, clothes with long sleeves and daily use of mosquito repellent.

It is also vital to seek early consultation when a person is starting to experience the symptoms. The public is also urged to support fogging or spraying only in areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak.

Experts said dengue virus-carrying mosquitoes are usually active from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.

Lifesaver is a UNTV Digital program that offers basic first aid training essential to anyone who happens to be a bystander to an accident or emergency. It also educates viewers of imperative emergency response lessons and indispensable disaster preparedness tools to be able to save lives in times of calamities.

For more information on dengue, other basic first aid and emergency response tips, visit Lifesaver’s Youtube and Facebook accounts.

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Are suicidal thoughts contagious?

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, July 5th, 2019

Image by Лечение Наркомании from Pixabay

There is a touch of lightness in the air as sun rays peek through the trees. Each step has a sound which carries a sense of peacefulness. There is calm.

But suddenly, all the lights go out. Nothing remains, not even darkness.

Without any warning, a person can experience an episode of depression without any triggering factor. This is according to psychiatrist Ranier Umali.

Dr. Umali said a person with depression can continue feeling good for months. However, he reiterates that depression is an episodic sickness which patients should be reminded of.

“Minsan, two months na okay na feeling niya ano, biglang darating iyan. Kahit walang trigger iyan. Kapag biglang dumating iyan at hindi alam ng pasyente na iyan ay talagang episode, madedepress ulit iyon, (Sometimes, [a patient] will be okay for two months, but [depression] will suddenly come, even without a trigger. If it comes and the patient is unaware of the episode, he will revert back to being depressed),” he said.

Umali said suicide is the end result of the sickness but depression is not contagious.

“Di siya nakakahawa, because ang suicide is not a sickness it is not infectious. It is a manifestation of a disease process. That is the outcome, (It is not contagious, because suicide is not a sickness),” he said.

However, he clarified that suicide thoughts shared on social media can affect another person.

“Shared thoughts, nadadala ka. Parang mob rule iyon. Nakakaapekto, iba iyong nakakahawa, nakakaapekto [iyon] nakaka-influence iyong thought process, (Shared thoughts can influence you. It is like a mob rule. It is different from being contagious. The thought process can be influential),” he said.

In an episode of UNTV’s morning show Good Morning Kuya, Umali further explained some misconceptions about depression and offered tips to help a person suffering from the disorder.

There are six causes of suicide:

  • Heroism
  • Honor
  • Culture
  • Protest
  • Psychosis
  • Depression

Umali explained that psychosis and depression are the two negative causes of suicide. He also said that the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 1/3 of the population of a country is depressed.

Depression is not an ordinary kind of sadness

Umali said a person with depression is experiencing severe sadness and anhedonia, which is the inability to feel pleasure.

He explained that this is due to a hormonal imbalance in the brain. Low serotonin levels and low oxygen levels in the brain are some of the factors which puts a person in a depressive mood.

Symptoms of depression

  • lassitude
  • vegetative functioning
  • lack of sleep
  • oversleep
  • lack of appetite
  • overeating
  • social isolation

Stop giving advises

Relatives and friends of a person suffering from depression are advised not to carelessly give advice to their loved ones with depression. Umali said not to take away control from the patient.

“Stop giving advice because your advice is your solution and not his solution,” he added.

Exercise but not to the point of exhaustion

It is better for a depressed person to try and get out of bed and do exercises, according to Umali. These include outdoor activities, however, he cautions against pushing oneself to exhaustion.

Avoid eating foods with caffeine

Umali listed down the foods a depressed person should avoid, which include drugs, alcohol, soft-drinks, tea, chocolate, and coffee.

“The last person to know whether he or she is depressed is the person himself,” Umali said. “Kaya kayong mga relatives kapag nakita niyo na iyon kayo na ang gumawa ng aksyon para sa kaniya. (So relatives, if you see [the symptoms] take action for his sake)—AAC

Suicidal thoughts: Nakakahawa ba? | Usapang Pangkalusugan

Suicidal thoughts, nakakahawa ba?Alamin kung paano malalabanan ang depresyon o matinding kalungkutan at ang mga paraan para mapapanatili ang kalusugang pang-kaisipan.

Posted by Good Morning Kuya on Wednesday, 3 July 2019

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