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DoH warns against diseases in evacuation camps

Posted on: September 29, 2009

DoH warns against diseases in evacuation camps

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 16:53:00 09/29/2009

Filed Under: Health, Weather, Disasters (general), Medicines

MANILA, Philippines – Food- and water-borne diseases, respiratory infections, and injury are the top three illnesses plaguing the 207 evacuation centers visited by the Department of Health, an official disclosed Tuesday.

“Common illnesses that are expected to rise in crowded evacuation areas are food and water borne diseases that causes diarrhea, injury from accidental falls due to slippery, wet pavements, and respiratory infections that can be easily transmitted when a person coughs or sneezes. We are recommending health guidelines for evacuees and have distributed medications that can help boost their immune system to counter the diseases,” said Doctor Yolanda Oliveros, director of the DoH’s National Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

Oliveros reminded DoH personnel to instruct victims from the storm on proper hygiene and sanitation practices and to provide them with health supplements that would boost their immunity.

Proper handwashing for at least two minutes and covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing will prevent the spread of diseases while sterilizing water will help prevent diarrhea, said Oliveros.

She also reminded people not to wade in the flood, especially if they have open wounds or cuts in the legs to avoid being infected with leptospirosis, which comes from the urine of an infected rat.

Oliveros added that the DoH has made an emergency purchase order of 100,000 zinc tablets, aimed at boosting the immune system of children under five years old in Marikina and Cainta, Rizal evacuation centers.

Children and babies who are vulnerable to infections will also be given anti-measle vaccinations and Vitamin A supplements to strengthen their immunity, added Oliveros.

The DoH has distributed rehydrating solutions, paracetamol, antibiotics, multivitamins and Vitamin A supplements, she added.

Doctors, nurses and other medical staff from accredited hospitals are on blue code alert 24/7 to attend to victims once needed, said Oliveros.

Oliveros urged consumers and donors to be vigilant in checking the prices of paracetamol and antibiotics such as generic Doxycycline, an anti-leptospirosis drug that was reportedly being sold at P45-P60 per tablet near Marikina and the Philippine General Hospital, up from P2 last week.

Oliveros said consumers should save their receipts and report overpriced drugs to DTI hotline (02) 751-3330.

“Ondoy” (international code name: Ketsana), dumped 334 millimeters of rain in Luzon on the first six hours of its touchdown on Satuday morning – submerging 80 percent of Metro Manila on Saturday and over 90 percent of Rizal province, said the state-owned weather bureau.


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