PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
DOH-8 intensifies campaign against diarrheal diseases in Eastern Visayas
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Jan 4 (PIA) -- As the region braces for more rains brought about by the low pressure area (LPA) in Mindanao, the Department of Health in Eastern Visayas is set to monitor diarrheal cases in the region and to intensify information campaign on the disease.
Boyd Cerro, nurse of the Department of Health Region 8 informed the Philippine Information Agency that with rains prevailing, the sources of water are prone to be contaminated and might result to an outbreak of diarrheal diseases.
Cerro disclosed that on January 5, together with Dr. Edgardo Daya of the Leyte Provincial Health Office, they will go to Calubian, Leyte, particularly at the Nortwestern Leyte District Hospital, where cases of diarrheal diseases have been observed.
Dr. Daya who received the report from the District Hospital director Dr. Felicidad D. Sales, suggested to Mr. Cerro for a joint fact-finding and monitoring team to visit Calubian.
Even before Christmas, about 67 diarrheal cases had been recorded at the Northwestern Leyte District Hospital based in the municipality of Calubian, Dr. Adelfa Jaboco, Calubian Municipal Health Officer told the Philippine Information Agency.
Dr. Jaboco was quick to add that not all the 67 cases are from Calubian, but from the nearby municipalities of Leyte, Tabango, and San Isidro. In fact the first case was from the municipality of Leyte.
Of the 67 cases, five patients, young ones, died because when they were brought to the hospital, they were already severely dehydrated, Dr. Jacobo said.
Jaboco said that the local health office has already advised the people on the necessary precautionary measures on what they could do; it also had conducted water treatment.
She said the situation is under control. In fact, as of press time, only three diarrheal patients are confined at the district hospital and they are on the way to recovery and will go home anytime, Jaboco said.
Meanwhile, Daya and Cerro are encouraging residents on proper sanitation like boiling drinking water, proper food handling as the best prevention against diarrheal diseases.
Diarrheal disease is a major cause of mortality in the Philippines. Over the past 20years, it has ranked 1st to 4th leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Among children under the age of five, it is a major cause of illness and death.
To reduce mortality from diarrhea particularly among children under five through extensive case management utilizing oral rehydration therapy (ORT), environmental sanitation, maternal and child health, and nutrition and health education activities.
In fact, the Department of Health (DOH) is set to conduct a nationwide vaccination this year against rotavirus, which causes severe diarrhea among young children, making the Philippines the leader of other Asian countries in lowering infant mortality from the preventable ailment.
An estimated 3,500 Filipino children below five years of age die each year from severe diarrhea, half of which are directly caused by rotavirus, according to DOH statistics. The virus causes inflammation of the stomach and severe watery diarrhea often accompanied by vomiting and fever, leading to loss of body fluids and, in extreme cases, death among babies and young children. (PIA 8)