BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN / CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The provincial government of Negros Occidental is taking preemptive measures following the entry of monkeypox disease in the country, as confirmed by the Department of Health.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang yesterday said that they are activating the Provincial Infectious Disease Action and Control Council (PIDACC), due to monkeypox threats, even if there are no cases in Negros Occidental as of this time.
Tumimbang said that PIDACC will focus in addressing emerging and reemerging diseases, such as those caused by viruses, among others.
PIDACC is chaired by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, with the Provincial Health Officer as vice chairman, along with hospitals, and other stakeholders, as well.
The World Health Organization declared monkeypox on July 23 as a “public health emergency of international concern.”
The DOH confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the country, which involved a 31-year-old Filipino who returned to the country from an overseas trip on July 19.
We need to set the preparations for that, Tumimbang said, especially the hospitals and local government units.
Right now, the focus is on advocacy, monitoring and surveillance, which is the meat of the preparations, he added.
Tumimbang said PIDACC will meet next week, with the approval of Gov. Lacson, to make recommendations on guidelines and protocols from the region down to the barangay level, and for preparation of logistics.
In Bacolod City, the Sangguniang Panlungsod is requesting the Bacolod City Health Office or Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez to intensify information dissemination drive to all Bacolodnons against the risk imposed by the Monkeypox virus.
The resolution authored by Councilor Claudio Puentevella, SP chairman of the Committee on Health, said the World Health Organization described Monkeypox as a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.
The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Transmission can occur from direct contact with blood, body fluids, or cutaneous or mocusal lesions of infected individuals, it said.
The Department of Health announced the detection of the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the Philippines on July 29, the resolution said.
Through proper information dissemination regarding the health risk posed by monkeypox, the people of Bacolod are informed on the proper ways to prevent the spread of monkeypox in the community.
Meanwhile, the SP also passed another resolution requesting Benitez through the City Engineer’s Office and School Division Superintendent of the Department of Education-Bacolod City to repair, declog, and clean canals, manholes, and other water drainage fixtures within the vicinity of schools to prevent the spread of leptospirosis and other water borne diseases in preparation for the opening of academic year 2022-2023.
The resolution also authored by Puentevella said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced the start of the monsoon season and entry of moderate to severe rainfall that may cause flooding in certain parts of the Philippines.
There is a high risk of exposure from leptospirosis and other water borne diseases from contaminated flood water caused by clogged drainage, canals, and other damaged water drainage fixtures, it added.*