DOH: no cholera outbreak in Iligan

CASES of cholera were reported in Iligan City but the Departmnent of Health (DOH) denied it was outbreak of cholera.

DOH Sec. Paulyn Jean Ubial, in a release, said there were  nine confirmed cases.

However, these were already contained, with the patients ranging from children nine months to six years old to 62-years old.

The confirmed cases came from different evacuation centers and barangays, Ubial said.

Four were reported from evacuation centers while the rest were home-based internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in various barangays.

They showed symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

After testing, nine cases were positive for Vibrio cholerae Ogawa, the cholera-causing bacteria.

 But Ubial said that there was no declared outbreak in Iligan City or any part of Region X (Northern Mindanao region).

 Ubial said that authorities are continuously monitor any incident in their area.

 “The benefits of disease surveillance can never be underestimated. It allows authorities to plan ahead and make appropriate responses to every challenge that may arise. An improved surveillance system, I should say, is key to preventing disease outbreaks, including Cholera,” Ubial said.

 The health chief, meanwhile, has ordered health responders to conduct house-to-house visits in coordination with the barangay captains, purok leader and local police to ensure safety of the responders on reaching out to home-based IDPs, who might have illnesses to provide them health services and possible hospital referrals.

 The health secretary also assured of no out-of-pocket expense on hospitalization through the Medical Assistance Program (MAP), especially if admitted in government hospitals.

 Ubial has elaborated on the DOH response to this ongoing initiative of further enhancing disease surveillance in the affected regions.

 “We have strategized on ways of improving disease surveillance, particularly in Region X and ARMM, by increasing human resource complement to perform surveillance activities, conducting capability building for surveillance staff, and providing incentives for surveillance workers,” she said.

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