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DOH allocates P31 million in medicines, supplies for Paeng-hit areas

The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday said it prepositioned P31,063,736.14 worth of medicines, medical supplies, and other commodities in regions that would be affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng.

The department said the supplies were taken to the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Caraga, Bangsamoro Region, and the National Capital Region (NCR) ahead of the storm’s devastation.

Additionally, P72,803,656.64 in commodities were readied for mobilization in the DOH Central Office Warehouse.

“Bago pa po mag-landfall ang bagyo ay naghanda na ang DOH dahil alam po natin na marami ang maaapektuhan ng Bagyong Paeng,” DOH officer-in-charge Health Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a statement.

(Even before the typhoon made landfall the DOH made preparations because we knew that many people would be affected by Paeng.)

“Kaya po milyun-milyong halaga ng resources and other commodities ang atin nang na-preposition sa iba’t ibang [Centers for Health Development] upang mapadali at agad na ma-deploy ang mga ito kung kinakailangan,” she added.

(That's why millions of resources and other commodities were prepositioned in various CHDs for quick and immediate deployment if needed.)

The DOH also said that human resources for health (HRH) were deployed to 633 evacuation centers nationwide to ensure the continued provision of essential healthcare services in Paeng-hit areas.

These HRH were tasked with screening and triage of evacuees in evacuation centers, and the provision of health, nutrition, medical, psychosocial, and water-sanitation-hygiene services. They also conducted rapid health assessments to evaluate the condition of affected individuals.

Likewise, DOH Regional Hospitals were placed on high alert to prepare for immediate deployment or augmentation, as well as to anticipate possible increases in hospital admissions, the agency added.

Affected health facilities, including cold chain facilities and equipment, were also put under close monitoring to ensure continued operations. Their health emergency management teams and health emergency personnel were also deployed to monitor, report, and respond to incidents in their respective areas of responsibility.

Further, the DOH said all of its units were on heightened surveillance against possible outbreaks of waterborne and foodborne illnesses, influenza-like illnesses, leptospirosis, and dengue diseases which may occur following the onslaught of Paeng.

The agency reported that it activated the Inter-Agency Committee on Environmental Health, which is set to convene on November 4, to discuss ways to address recent acute gastroenteritis or diarrhea cases and cholera outbreaks that may also be due to the recent typhoons and floods.

“Sa ating mga kababayan na nangangailangan ng mga serbisyong pangkalusugan ngayong panahon ng bagyo, makakaasa po kayo na mayroon kayong DOH na masasandalan sa inyong mga lugar at evacuation centers,” Vergeire said.

(To our countrymen who need health services during this typhoon season, you can count on DOH in your areas and evacuation centers.)

“Sa tulong ng ating mga lokal na pamahalaan [with the help of our local government units], we will ensure that health services are unhampered and that our healthcare facilities are always ready to provide healthcare services to patients seeking care,” she continued. — DVM, GMA News