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PIA Press Release

RDCC members discuss updates on A(H1N1) virus

by Jennifer P. Gaitano

Butuan City (5 June) -- The Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) Caraga convened recently for its 5th meeting to discuss updates on Influenza A (H1N1) virus, held at the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga Conference Room, this city.

DOH-Caraga Regional Director Leonita Gorgolon, the de-facto chair for RDCC-Caraga called for its 5th meeting to all members of RDCC, with the presence of its representatives from the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCCs), Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council (MDCCs), and City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCCs) and discussed the following: World Health Organization (WHO) Updates; What has been done since May 4 to May 31, 2009; Interim guidelines No. 10 issued by DOH for hotels, schools; DOH latest A H1N1 operation strategy; What are the things still to be done from June 1 onwards for the public and for the local government units.

In her opening remarks, Dir. Gorgolon expresses her gratitude for the full support, commitment extended from all sectors, its adequate planning and coordination, adequate logistics and timing, and team work to really help prevent the spread of A (H1N1) virus.

During the meeting, the RDCC Command Conference Output was presented, which talk on Caraga's Action Plan to prevent entry and immediate containment measures such as the conduct of surveillance from the point of entry and exit (airports, seaports), and its continuous monitoring in the community.

For surveillance and monitoring, RDCC already conducted the following: Establishment of kiosk for balikbayans and foreign guests; creation and posting of health teams with ID at seaports and airports; production and utilization of health cards; strengthened local epidemiology and surveillance units (PESU, MESU, and CESU); posting of health teams to monitor foreign guests and balikabayans during the international game fishing.

Also, the 10 DOH interim guidelines issuances was discussed which are the use of anti virals for A H1N1; Infection control and use of PPEs; Laboratory diagnosis of A H1N1; On public gatherings; Transport of persons likely to be positive; For hotels encourage reporting; Enhanced surveillance mechanism for coordination and reporting; Safety precaution for hospitals; In school; and Risk communication.

Meanwhile, Dir. Gorgolon also discussed the prevention and control of A H1N1 in schools. "Thru organizing an infection control team; making facilities for hand hygiene and sanitation; designating a room; providing available disposable marks; encouraging students and faculty members for its prompt reporting of potential suspects; and launching a sustain information on A H1N1, these are some helpful ways in preventing and controlling the spread of cirus", stressed Dir. Gorgolon.

Dir. Gorgolon further said that there are still several things to be done like conducting of advocacy forum to Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) members on community surveillance; to schedule meetings with school superintendents; prompt reporting to DOH hotlines; advocacy meeting with hotel managers.

RDCC-Caraga will also conduct assessment on the following hospitals: Surigao del Sur -Adela Serra Memorial Medical Center on June 3, 2009; Agusan del Sur DO Plaza Memorial Hospital on June 8, 2009; Butuan Medical Center on June 4, 2009; Agusan Provincial Hospital on June 4, 2009; and Butuan Doctors Hospital on June 4, 2009.

Dir. Gorgolon advised the general public to report immediately to their office anyone observed as suspect of A (H1N1) at Center for Health and Development (CHD) - DOH Hotline (085) 225-3876.

With these plans, coordination, team work, and even accomplishments of the members of the RDCC, PDCCs, MDCCs, and CDCCs in preventing the spread of the Influenza A (H1N1), Dir. Gorgolon is optimistic that eventually no one will suffer the virus. (PIA-Caraga) [top]

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