DOH Cordillera Prepares for Ebola Threat

DOH Cordillera Prepares for Ebola Threat

VOL. XVIII, NO. 6(Nov. 15-21)

BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Health – Cordillera is now beefing preparations for the region to be ready to respond to the threat of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

Although the Philippines is still Ebola virus- free, DOH-CAR Regional Director Jesus Valeriano Lopez said that the DOH has started preparing the different facilities and the health workers to be ready to respond in case the EVD enters the country.
Lopez said that the DOH in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Philippines, has started conducting specialized training programs for health workers on how to detect and treat cases of EVD and prevent the spread of the disease.

In a statement, the DOH said that the training will provide a deeper understanding of EVD, its transmission and epidemiology. It will also enhance the participants’ practical skills in particular areas (such as personal protection, security and safety). The knowledge and skills gained from the training is expected to increase the capacity of the national health system to prevent or respond if an imported case of EVD in the Philippines occurs.

Lopez said the facilities of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center which were prepared for the MERS COV and other infectious diseases are still available though need upgrade.

Meanwhile, as part of the DOH’s preparation for the possible entry of EVD in the country, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine has developed a triage system for suspected cases of EVD.  Patient screening and evaluation as well as infection control practices are in place. First-line health workers in the management of cases are being trained in the donning and removing of personal protective equipment (PPE), adequate supply of PPE is available.

The RITM is upgrading DOH’s major laboratory hospitals from Biosafety Level (BSL) 2 to BSL 3 or 4 for the detection, treatment, and containment of potentially high-risk infectious agents. The National Reference Center primarily uses molecular detection methods that ensure sensitive and rapid diagnosis.

Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan earlier advised the public to calm down amid the Ebola virus scare. He recently convened the different health stakeholders in the city to discuss the threat of Ebola and the city’s preparedness and capability to handle it. He emphasized the national government is currently doing its efforts to ensure Ebola virus will not enter the country through a thorough quarantine of tourists, overseas Filipino workers and migrants from other countries particularly those with Ebola outbreaks like in West and Central Africa.

Symptoms of the Ebola virus are sudden onset of headache, muscle pain, fever fatigue and sore throat. Usually it is followed by rash, diarrhea, vomiting and even internal and external bleeding./JDP/RMC- PIA CAR