To help increase public awareness on the current health programs of the Department of Health (DOH) particularly immunization programs, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Catanduanes, in partnership with the DOH Regional Office V held a Media Kapihan on November 20, Tuesday at Rackdell Inn, Virac.
Dr. Hazel A. Palmes, Provincial Health Officer II of Catanduanes highlighted the power of the media as a tool to hasten the dissemination of significant programs and projects related to health.
“The media partners are really influential to relay health information to our populace. Ito po talaga ang inaasahan natin, mapabilis na maipaabot ang mga information na mayroon po tayo sa ating mga kababayan through the media.” Dr. Palmes.
DOH Immunization Programs
As the main agendum of the briefing during the press con, the need for immunization in as early as 6 months old was underscored by Dr. Monrey Isaiah Mancilla, Medical Officer III and National Immunization Program Coordinator.
“Kailangang ma-intensify po natin yung routine immunization…pag vaccine preventable (ang disease), dapat walang nagkakasakit.” Dr. Mancilla explained.
He clarified that the scare brought by the Dengvaxia should not be connected to the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine since the latter has been operational as early as 2010 and is being monitored from time to time.
Dr. Mancilla stated that vaccines such as the MMR are readily available in Rural Health Units (RHUs), and some are even given in schools by health personnel or door-to-door by barangay health workers.
He also clarified that in any large RHUs, vaccines can be given any day of the week but for the smaller ones, immunizations are to be given to patients at least every Wednesday.
This is in line with the upcoming regional launching of another immunization program this coming January 23, 2019 with the tag line: “Tara na sa Barangay Health Center dahil… Basta Wednesday, Barangay Bakuna Day.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Palmes enumerated the accomplishments of the PHO from January to September 2018 such as the Community-Based Treatment and Rehabilitation Program (CBTRP) which took off on July 18, 2016 when Gov. Joseph Cua won the gubernatorial seat and the Launching and MOA signing of Balay Silangan Program of the provincial government.
She also revealed that our health indicators are improving except for maternal health.
“Maternal health is a challenge kasi this involves a lot of factors…but I know that our delivery-based facility has improved a lot… at yun yung gusto naming ihingi ng tulong sa inyo (media)- to encourage mothers to seek pre-natal care and post-partum care,” Dr. Palmes emphasized.
The provincial heath chief encouraged the media to help them relay the possible services they can offer to the public and strengthen their advocacy to ensure a healthy family and community.
Also specified in the said Press Conference are the health celebrations for the month of November, namely: the 26th National Children’s Month; Filariasis Awareness Month; Traditional Alternative Health Care Month; Malaria Awareness Month; National Food Fortification Day; National Skin Diseases Detection and Prevention Week; World Diabetes Day; World Prematurity Day; Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week; World Toilet Day; and the National Consciousness Week against Counterfeit Medicine.
Ensuring Safety during Holidays
In preparation for the yuletide season, the Philippine National Police – Bato represented by PO2 Renen Delos Reyes also explained the 2012 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulation of RA 7183, an act regulating the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.
The allowed firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices and their classifications together with the prohibited ones were highlighted during his talk.
He also took pride as Catanduanes reported zero case of Fireworks-Related Injury (FWRI) in Christmas 2017 and New Year 2018.
Although FWRI cases had decreased from 2015 to 2017 due to the persistent campaign of the DOH against dangerous firecrackers and explosives, PO2 Delos Reyes still encouraged the media to inform the public as regards the “OPLAN: Iwas Paputok, Fireworks Display ang Patok,” in line with the Action Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR) Program of the DOH.
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