Friday, April 12, 2024

DOH-10 urges LGUs to intensify tracking of dengue, measles, chikungunya virus

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (March 29, 2024/PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH)-10 urges LGUs to ramp up the surveillance of dengue, measles, and chikungunya virus after cases soared from January to March

During the Northern Mindanao Disaster Risk Reduction Management 1st Quarter Full Council meeting, DOH reported that dengue, measles, and chikungunya had increased compared to the same months last year.

Its current data showed a 34.27 percent increase in dengue cases, from 3,032 to 4,071. Measles cases surged by 94.33 percent, from 53 to 103. Chikungunya cases spiked from 7 to 89, marking a staggering 1,171.43 percent rise.

Dengue and chikungunya cases

The disease surveillance data showed that Bukidnon has the most dengue cases in Northern Mindanao, with 1,121 cases (959 admissions with 153 confirmed cases); Misamis Oriental has 845 cases (591 admissions, 79 confirmed); Lanao del Norte reported 574 cases (450 admissions, 115 confirmed); Iligan City reported 319 cases (310 admissions, 114 confirmed); Cagayan de Oro City reported 222 cases (207 admissions, 6 confirmed); and Camiguin reported 89 cases (81 admitted and 47 confirmed).

Bukidnon reported the most dengue-related deaths (19), followed by Misamis Occidental (4), Misamis Oriental (3), Lanao del Norte (4), Iligan City (1), Cagayan de Oro City (2), and Camiguin (1).

Chikungunya, another mosquito-borne viral illness transmitted by the same Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitos that carry dengue and Zika, has significantly increased. Misamis Oriental leads the list with 50 cases, followed by Misamis Occidental (18), Bukidnon (12), Camiguin (4), Iligan City (4), and Cagayan de Oro City (1).

Measles cases surveillance

DOH-10 intensifies measles cases surveillance following the disease surge in a neighboring province. The tracking team reported 103 infected children aged 1 to 5. Lanao del Norte has 58 cases (54 hospitalized), followed by Misamis Oriental (14 cases, 11 hospitalized), Cagayan de Oro City (8 cases, 3 hospitalized), Bukidnon (8 cases), Iligan City (7 cases, 5 hospitalized), Misamis Occidental (6 cases, 3 hospitalized), and Camiguin (2 cases, 1 hospitalized).

“The sudden rise in measles cases can be attributed to children’s failure to receive vaccinations,” according to DOH-10 nurse Iris Christine Torralba.

She said COVID-19 disrupted vaccinations as the ‘No Vaccine, No Entry’ policy caused delays. Now, Lanao del Norte faces a measles surge. DOH-10 mobilized an outbreak team to Balo-i and Amai Pakpak Medical Center to stop the spread.

In addition to the response team, resources like viral transport media (VTM) and vaccines were strategically placed and boosted in LDN.

The DOH-10 coordinated with the integrated provincial health offices of Lanao del Sur and Marawi City. It collaborated with national immunization program coordinators to conduct outbreak response immunization in high-case areas.

“The regional office collects data from local government units (LGUs), contributing to our generated data. We are approaching the epidemic threshold and have advised LGUs to enhance their surveillance systems in recent weeks,” DOH-10 Regional Director Sulpicio Henry Legaspi said.

He recommended that local governments monitor movements, particularly in Balo-i, the epicenter of the measles outbreak, because 92 percent of recorded cases include unvaccinated or under-immunized children, indicating the need for focused immunization activities in high-case areas.

Legaspi said the DOH-10 is coordinating with Lanao del Sur to monitor Marawi City due to high population mobility, saying there is a risk of measles spreading to Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City due to its contagious nature.

“We have enough vaccine supply and await the request for additional health workers needed for outbreak response immunization,” he clarified.

The health department assures the public they are addressing the situation, collaborating with LGUs to intensify measles case monitoring and urging parents to vaccinate children aged 0-59 months against measles and other diseases. (Jan Albert K. Araña/PIA10)

BPMC gets new CT scan machine

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (March 28, 2024) – The Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center (BPMC) has received a new Fujifilm Healthcare Supria 32-slice CT Scan machine from the Department of Health (DOH)

According to the provincial government of Bukidnon (PGB), the turnover ceremony took place on March 26, 2024, at BPMC in Malaybalay City.


Dr. Ariel I. Valencia, assistant health secretary represented the DOH as the donor.


Valencia conveyed the goal of Health Secretary Ted Herbosa’s initiative, which aimed to make every Filipino feel well through cooperation.


He said, “In a hospital like this, it’s a big thing to have immediate diagnostic capacity to diagnose, and that’s lifesaving, the patient’s problem can be seen right away.”


Meanwhile, Provincial Governor Rogelio Neil P. Roque represented the PGB as the donee.


The Governor assured that the province of Bukidnon will take care of the CT scan machine.


The machine was provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as part of the Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit (HEAL) Project.


It was done through the office of Bukidnon 2nd District Representative Jonathan Keith Flores.


It was given to DOH, who eventually handed over the machine to BPMC.


Rep. Flores stated that the project is an excellent example of how things can be accomplished quickly when several government entities work together.


Dr. Gina Factura, BPMC’s chief of hospital, revealed that the state-of-the-art CT Scan machine is available for free to admitted patients through the PhilHealth program.


For outpatients, she stated that there may be a price to cover the cost of utilities and other expenses, which would be determined and finalized by the hospital.


Dr. Sulpicio Henry M. Legaspi, Jr., regional director for the Northern Mindanao Center for Health Development, also attended the occasion. (melbmadera)

DOH-10 stresses need for proper health guidance amid El Niño concerns

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA/March 03, 2024) – “The phenomenon in the environment has an effect on the human body,” said Dr. Tristan Jedidah Labitad, head of the Non-Communicable Diseases Cluster, who shared points and mitigations on El Niño effects on the health of the people during the Kapihan sa PIA: El Niño Series on February 21, 2024, at Limketkai, Cagayan de Oro City

Labitad said El Niño is a phenomenon where certain parts of the surface water in the Pacific Ocean become warmer than usual, and this increased heat has a ripple effect on the overall global climate. He added that waterborne diseases, influenza-like illnesses, leptospirosis, and dengue (WILD) are diseases that can arise from such a phenomenon.


Labitad stressed the susceptibility of individuals of all ages, highlighting the vulnerability of everyone to these health risks. Despite the preparedness of health facilities to assist, he emphasized the role of consulting primary healthcare providers before heading to hospitals in cases of illness.


“Kung unsa’y gibati nimo nga dili maayo nga sakit, you seek medical consultation, diretso. Dili magpataka-taka og inom og any herbal supplements, I am not discounting any herbal supplements. However, conventional medicine would dictate nga dili jud alternative sa imong gibati karon ang mga herbal, good kung naa ka pero dili i-neglect nga based japon siya sa research,” he said.


[If you feel that you are sick, you should seek medical consultation directly. Do not drink any herbal supplements; I am not discounting these supplements. However, conventional medicine would dictate that herbals are not an alternative to what you feel now; good if you have them, but don’t neglect those that are based on research]


The doctor strongly advised seeking medical consultation and undergoing a health professional’s check-up, especially for individuals with co-morbidities, cautioning against the indiscriminate use of herbal supplements without proper guidance.


As for enhancing their preparedness for potential disease surges in their respective areas, Labitad said local government units and healthcare facilities, including rural health units and centers, hold regular meetings to also determine ways to address health issues in communities.


To maintain good health, Labitad urged the public to only rely on credible sources of information, such as the Department of Health and other reputable health entities. “Let’s avoid being swayed by various anecdotes. Consult with healthcare professionals for any health concerns,” he said.


The Philippine Information Agency-10 holds the Kapihan sa PIA: El Niño Series once a month to address pressing issues related to the El Niño phenomenon in the region. (Patricia Aisabelle C. Rosales/PIA-10)

Animal bite treatment center sa BPH Malitbog abri na

Abri na alang sa taga-Malitbog ang Animal Bite Treatment Center (ABTC) sa Munisipyo nga gipahimutang sa Bukidnon Provincial Hospital (BPH)-Malitbog, Purok 1, Imelda St., Poblacion, Malitbog, Bukidnon

Sumala sa pahibalo sa probinsyal nga kagamhanan sa Bukidnon, nahigayon ang launching sa programa buntag sa Enero 11, 2024.

Gi-isyu sa Department of Health (DOH)-Northern Mindanao pinetsahan Enero 4, 2024, ang
Certificate of Quality Service ngadto sa maong hospital.

Nahitabo kini human masunod niini ang specific standards sa DOH alang sa Post Exposure Prophylaxis.

Ang Bite Center bukas sa matag adlaw nga Lunes ug Huwebes sa alas 8:00-12:00 ang takna sa buntag, alang sa anti-rabies vaccination.

Basi sa daily consultation sa maong hospital, nasayran nga dili mo-ubos sa lima (5) ang kaso sa
cat/dog bite sa maong munisipalidad.

Busa gilantaw nga dakong tabang kini alang niadtong mga kabus nga labing nanginahanglan. (melbmadera)

4 injured in fireworks factory blast in Bukidnon

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Dec. 30, 2023) – Four individuals – two men and two women – sustained second-and third-degree burns in an alleged explosion in a fireworks factory in Balangay 9, Barangay Poblacion, Quezon, Bukidnon, on Friday, December 29

The victims were taken to the Simbulan Hospital in the neighboring municipality of Don Carlos, Bukidnon, and are in stable condition, the Bukidnon Police Provincial Office said.

Initial investigation said that the victims were allegedly engaged in the production of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices prior to the explosion. The assistance of the Explosive Ordnance
Disposal was needed as authorities wanted to conduct an in-depth investigation and assess the legality of the establishment.

Quezon police Chief Major Noel Cano said they are still waiting for verification from the Firearms and Explosives Office at the Police Regional Office-10 to determine if the establishment is registered to produce firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

“If they are not registered, we will check the legal remedy or legal action that we can take\ against them so that the victims can benefit,” Cano told the Manila Bulletin on Saturday, December 30.

Cano added that the victims were manufacturing fireworks that will allegedly be used for the New Year countdown of the local government unit of Quezon. He said they are looking into this as the fireworks should be ordered and they should not be manufacturing them.

The EOD, together with the Bureau of Fire Protection, has cleared the area of possible hazardous materials. No houses were affected as the area is isolated.

The Department of Health-Northern Mindanao (DOH-10) has recorded nine cases of firecracker-related injuries in the region as of December 29 – three cases each from Bukidnon and this city, two from Misamis Occidental, and one from Iligan City.

The agency recorded 10 cases of firecracker-related incidents from December 21 to January 6 last year.

Cases in Quezon, Bukidnon, have yet to be included since they still need to be validated by the reporting unit, said DOH-10 officer-in-charge Dr. Ellenietta Herunaidna Maria Victoria Gamolo in a text message on Saturday.

On December 12, the DOH-10 released a memorandum to all its personnel, including development management officers, human resources for health, contract of service personnel, DOH hospitals, medical health centers, and other health agencies to implement Code White Alert from December 21 to January 6, for the observance of the Yuletide season and Fireworks Related Injury (FWRI) surveillance, including firecracker-related tetanus cases, until January 21.

Under Code White Alert, DOH-10 response teams and committees “shall be on standby, on-call, and report to the office immediately in case of any emergency situation.”

As part of the safety precautions to ensure that no illicit firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials are supplied to the public, especially to youngsters, random inspections in markets and other locations will be strictly enforced, the Bukidnon police said in a statement on Saturday. (Frank Dick Rosete/Manila Bulletin)

4 ka Bukidnon Provincial Hospitals ug LGU Valencia midawat og pasidungog

Upat ka mga hospital nga gidumala sa Provincial Government sa Bukidnon ug City Health
Office sa Valencia ang nakadawat og pasidungog

Sumala sa kasayoran, ang mga Hospital mao ang Bukidnon Provincial Hospital sa Manolo
Fortich, BPH Maramag, BPH San Fernando ug BPH Kalilangan.
Awardee sila sa Integrated Hospital Operations and Management Program (IHOMP).
Ang pasidungog gitunol sa Health Facility Development Unit sa Department of Health – Center
for Health Development (DOH-CHD) Northern Mindanao.
Nahigayon ang awarding atol sa Program Implementation Review sa IHOMP niadtong
Nobyembre 23, 2023 sa Pearlmont Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.
Sa laing bahin, ang CHO Valencia giila sab sa DOH-CHD Northern Mindanao. Ang pag-ila
nahigayon sa Deluxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City niadtong Nobyembre 29.
Ang CHO Valencia giila nga Best Performer sa Formation sa Community-Based Rehabilitation
Area alang sa Health and Wellness Program nga magtutok sa Persons with Disability. (melbmadera)

DOH-10 pushes safe sex vs HIV

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Dec. 2, 2023, 05:02 PM) – The Department of Health-Northern Mindanao (DOH-10) reiterated on World AIDS Day on Friday, December 1, that safe sex practices remain one of the most effective ways to prevent infections from Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

DOH-10 Infectious Diseases Cluster Head Dr. Wellaflor Kindom-Brito said that HIV status will remain confidential and the only person who can divulge the information is the individual infected by the virus.
Hence, safe sex practices are vital, she said. “At the end of the day, we are all accountable for our health. So, have yourselves protected,” Brito said in a press conference on Friday.
The Health official said they recorded 436 newly confirmed HIV cases in the region from January to August this year, bringing the cumulative total to 3,095 since it was first detected in Northern Mindanao in 1991.
This city has the highest number of HIV cases, with over 1,000, followed by Bukidnon with more than 500.
Two-hundred fourteen HIV-related deaths were recorded, 30 of which were logged in the first eight months of this year.
Northern Mindanao ranked sixth among regions in the country with the highest number of HIV cases as of May 2023, according to the DOH Epidemiology Bureau HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines.
The National Capital Region was first with 290 cases, followed by Calabarzon (213), Central Luzon (149), Central Visayas (101), Davao Region (98), and Western Visayas (97).
Brito said that Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV can now be obtained at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in this city. This DOH Region 10-run hospital started dispensing PrEP last March.
PrEP, she said, is given to non-HIV-infected individuals but with risky behavior for infection. There is a criteria for a person to be eligible for the prophylaxis, Brito added.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said PrEP “reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99 percent.” It also “reduces the risk of getting HIV from injection drug use by at least 74 percent,” adding that it is less effective when not taken as prescribed.
Despite this, Brito reiterated safe sex practices, as people taking PrEP are not safe from other sexually transmitted infections.
Brito reminded us that once a person is infected with HIV, it will last forever but it can be treated using treatment drugs.
If people living with HIV are religiously taking their medicines, it would come to a point where the viral load would be reduced and become untransmittable. This means that HIV-infected individuals, Brito said, are no longer contagious, but they are still not allowed to donate blood.
“If we know people who are in doubt or afraid because they feel that it’s the end of their lives already, then let’s remind them that our medicines and our treatment for HIV are actually effective,” Brito said.
HIV treatment drugs in the region can be obtained from the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in this city, Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Medical Center in Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center in Malaybalay City, Maramag Rural Health Unit in Bukidnon, and the Adventist Medical Center-Iligan.
The DOH-10 is planning to expand treatment hubs and confirmatory sites in the region and said that there is an additional hub in Valencia City in Bukidnon this year. It also targets treatment hubs in Lanao del Norte, Camiguin, and Talakag town in Bukidnon.
The State Health Department, Brito said, is also ensuring communication between the regional offices to have enough medicines for people living with HIV. (Frank Dick Roste/Manila Bulletin)

DOH-10 urges public to buy generic medicines, same quality but cheaper

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–The generic drugs have the same quality and effectiveness as the branded versions because they go through similar regulatory processes at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but they are cheaper, said an official from the Department of Health-Center for Health Development Northern Mindanao (DOH-CHDNM)

In Talakayan sa PIA: Konsultayo Series at SM CDO City Uptown, Dr. Steffi Grace Enon, medical officer of DOH-CHDNM, said generic medicine has the same active ingredient as the branded version, so it has the same effect.

Why is there generic medicine?

The Generics Act of 1988 ensures that all Filipinos have access to affordable and effective medicines.

Enon shared that there are two main types of medicines. The first is innovator medicine, which is made by pharmaceutical companies that are the ones to create the medicine first for a specific disease. They also apply for patents for the drug, which means they have the sole right to make and sell the drug. But after a few years, with the patent expired, other manufacturers can then create the same drug.

According to Enon, all generic medications on the market underwent and passed the FDA process, while our generic medications met the same standards of quality as branded medications.

DOH-CHDNM is requiring pharmaceutical companies to do mandatory generic labeling. “Tanan tambal dapat nakasulat didto ang generic nga ngalan [All medicine should have a generic name],” said Enon.

They are also reminding physicians and doctors to include in their prescriptions the generic name of the drug.

Lastly, DOH-CHDNM also reminds pharmacies to do generic dispensing or substitution. This means that when a patient goes to the pharmacy and asks for a generic prescription, he or she should be given the generic version of the drug.

There is also the Cheaper Medicines Act, which was issued in 2008 and is an amendment to the Generics Medicine Act.

The goal is to ensure there are generic versions available on the market. The Cheaper Medicines Act intends to lower the prices of medicine even more.

There are various ways to implement the law, Enon said. There is a maximum retail price, and there is a price cap for medicines that belong to the top-burden diseases in the Philippines, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer, among others.

Second, there is a suggested retail price (SRP) for essential and emergency medicine.

“Mandated tanan nato drugstores and pharmacies, mag-submit sa Department of Health sa ilang presyo sa mga tambal [We have mandated drugstores and pharmacies to submit to the Department of Health the prices of their medicines],” said Enon.

Third is the drug price reference index. Basically, this is a list of the prices of medicines for bidding from the government.

“Kung mupalit ang isa ka government facility or agency, mu-abide gyud sila ani nga presyo [If a government facility or agency will buy, they need to abide by the set price],” added Enon. (JMOR/PIA-10)

BFAR debunks rumors of HIV-infected fish, seafood being sold in Normin

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-10 on Wednesday said there is no truth to rumors being spread online that HIV-infected medical waste that was found dumped in waters in this region has contaminated fish and seafood being sold in markets

“We want to emphasize that consuming fishery products is safe and poses no risk of contracting HIV. HIV is a virus that primarily spreads through specific human bodily fluids, such as blood, sexual fluids, and breast milk, and is not transmitted through the consumption of food, including fish and seafood,” BFAR-10 Regional Director Edward Yasay said.

Recent misleading social media posts have been circulating online, suggesting that HIV-infected medical tools found in the waters of the region (with no particular location specified) are causing seafood to carry the virus. BFAR-10 clarified that these claims are false and unsubstantiated. The Department of Health Center for Health Development Northern Mindanao (DOH-CHDNM) has verified that there is no basis for such allegations.

In addressing public health concerns, Yasay emphasized that it is vital to rely on credible sources and accurate information.

“We encourage all consumers to be vigilant about the information they encounter online and to consult reputable health organizations and authorities for accurate and trustworthy information regarding public health and food safety,” he added.

BFAR-10, through its Fisheries Integrated Laboratory Section (FILS) and Fisheries Inspection and Quarantine Unit (FIQU), is fully committed to ensuring the safety and quality of fishery products available in the market. Fisheries inspectors and stringent regulatory measures are in place to monitor and regulate seafood, ensuring it meets the highest safety and hygiene standards.

Yasay urged the public to continue trusting fishery products as a safe and nutritious source of food. He assured that BFAR-10 remains dedicated to safeguarding the well-being of consumers and ensuring that the region’s fishery products meet the highest standards of safety and quality. (RTP/PIA-10)

Leptospirosis cases up 40% in Northern Mindanao

The Department of Health-Region 10 urged the public to remain vigilant as the number of leptospirosis cases in the Northern Mindanao region has significantly increased this year

According to the DOH-10 Regional Epidemiology Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit, 97 cases have been recorded in the region as of October 7, 40.58 percent higher than last year.

Misamis Occidental has the highest number of cases, with 41, followed by Cagayan de Oro City (27), Bukidnon (14), Misamis Oriental (13), and Iligan City and Camiguin with one case each. Lanao del Norte has no reported so far.

Emman Valentin, health program officer of the DOH-10 Regional Epidemiology Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit, said one of the factors in the rise of cases was the series of flooding, such as in Misamis Occidental, where a huge increase from only three cases in the same period last year was recorded.

The much-relaxed Covid-19 restrictions this year, Valentin said, may also have contributed to the increase in cases compared to last year when people stayed in their homes.

“So now, in 2023, although the Covid has not been lifted, we are more relaxed. So, the movement of the people has now been going out,” Valentin said on Friday, October 13.

Leptospirosis is an infection caused by the Leptospira genus of bacteria and can be transmitted through the urine of infected animals, such as mice, rats, pigs, dogs, horses, and cattle.

It can also be contracted by humans wading in floodwater tainted with animal urine. If there are cuts or abrasions, this disease may enter the body through damaged skin, as well as through the eyes, nose, or mouth.

An infected person may experience fever, chills, headache, muscle pain (myalgia), skin rashes, diarrhea, redness of the eyes (conjunctival suffusion), and jaundice or yellowish discoloration of the skin.

Valentin said every province, city, and municipality has a surveillance officer who has been conducting information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns against leptospirosis. They were instructed to advise people who have been exposed to floodwater to take prophylaxis, which can be had for free from the local government units.

The public has been reminded to maintain the cleanliness of their surroundings and avoid wading and swimming in floodwater to keep away from the disease. Going to the nearest health center or consulting a physician has been advised, especially for individuals with suspected leptospirosis.

“Untreated leptospirosis may lead to severe complications that can cause liver or kidney failure, jaundice, damage to other major organs, or even death,” DOH-10 OIC Director Dr. Ellenietta Gamolo said.

According to the DOH, keeping the environment clean, disposing of garbage properly to avoid rat infestations, and using pest control measures are some of the best practices to prevent leptospirosis.

Health authorities advised the public always to wear boots when crossing floodwaters and wash their feet after wading in the flood. Open wounds also need to be covered by plasters and keep their eyes, ears, and mouth from floodwater to avoid bacterial infection. (Manila Bulletin)