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PIA Press Release

DOH strengthens advocacy on climate change

by Redjie Cawis

Baguio City (13 February) -- The Department of Health warns the public on the health effects of climate change.

According to Dr. Amelita Pangilinan of the Center for Health and Development-Cordillera, the DOH is monitoring the effects of the experienced climate change with regards to the health of the people in Baguio City and the Cordillera Region.

Pangilinan said with the La Nina and El Nino and early rain fall and the continuous warm weather, health risks increase especially to people with ailments.

The continuing warm and hot weather will increase the health risk of hypertensive individuals. If there is too much heat, blood pressure of hypertensive people will surely rise and may cause death. Cardio Vascular Disease or heart ailment is still one of the leading cause of death here in the country and the region.

Diabetics will also be affected as blood sugar levels will increase since they are very sensitive on high temperatures.

Heat stroke is also happening in several parts of the country causing several deaths in regions two and the National Capital Region in 2009.

Pangilinan said that the people of Baguio and some mountainous cold parts of the region are lucky with the cooler weather we have and heat stroke is not experience unlike in other low lying region. Having higher temperature she said, can cause dehydration and immediate collapse that leads to death.

Pangilinan explained that if there would be more rain the chance of water born disease may increase. This includes cholera, diarrhea and mosquito born diseases like dengue and malaria.

Last month, the DOH-CAR recorded its first death on dengue from Lagawe, Ifugao. It could be recalled that last year parts or Poblacion in Lagawe had and outbreak on dengue and there had been a 100 percent increase of dengue cases and deaths in 2009.

DOH regional director Dr. Myrna Cabotaje explained that the El Nino phenomenon or the dry spell does not assure decrease in dengue cases as there is a possibility that dengue carrying mosquito breeding grounds would not dry up and they could adopt to the hot climate.

The DOH will intensify the anti dengue campaign as they launch the 4-S campaign (Search and destroy dengue mosquito breeding grounds, Self protection, Seek early treatment and Say no to indiscriminate fogging) here in Baguio City this month.

DOH is advising s sick people to continue to take medications as prescribed by doctors and for the others to continue living a healthy lifestyle to avoid diseases. Be health smart, practice a healthy lifestyle to live a productive, longer and enjoyable life. (PIA) [top]

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