Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Health officials contain incidence of cholera

The provincial government, in tandem with the DOH-CHD Region I and the different LGUs in Pangasinan, has practically contained the incidence of cholera in the province with the activation of Quick Response Task Force Against Acute Gastroenteritis, Provincial Administrator Rafael F. Baraan said on Wednesday (September 10).

In a media briefing at the Capitol, Baraan said that out of 6,350 cases of acute gastroenteritis from January to September 8, some 57 cases of cholera in Pangasinan were recorded for the same period.

No new cholera cases have been registered since September 4.

“Everything is now under control,” he said, even as he stressed that the task force, which is composed of the regional office of DOH and the Prov’l Health Office, conducted an intensive campaign to equip the people against acute gastroenteritis in coordination with barangay health workers and rural health units (RHUs) personnel through surveillance and speedy reporting of cases to the task force. The Task Force has been distributing hyposols and oresols in the different RHUs, and has conducted chlorination activities in drinking water supply sources around the province.

Hyposol is a solution that treats impurities in water, while oresol is an oral rehydration powder solution.

The provincial government has already issued health advisories to the LGUs and households to practice proper personal hygiene and to take extra care in handling their food.

What is important is “the sustained surveillance system and the quick response mechanisms are in place,” Baraan also said. He said that since the full operation of the quick response task force, no new cases of cholera has been reported.

Provincial Health Officer Jackson Soriano for his part said that the number of reported cases of waterborne diseases is “no cause for alarm” as they have already provided water storage, chlorine and has conducted mass chlorination of water sources and information dissemination through community assembly.

For people afflicted with the disease, Soriano advised them to inform the nearest health center, isolate the person and must use oresol for rehydration because dehydration can be fatal.

In areas where oresol cannot be immediately available, Dr. Soriano said that households can use home-made rehydration formula by combining one teaspoon of salt and four teaspoons of sugar and mixed with one liter of purified or chlorinated water.

Dr. Soriano clarified that Cholera is one form of acute gastroenteritis. He said that based on records, there are a total of 6,350 recorded cases of gastroenteritis covering the period from January 1 to September 8, 2008. Out of this number, 57 have been confirmed positive of cholera.

From the 57 reported with cholera cases, three towns have high incidence, namely: Bayambang with 16 recorded cases, Aguilar with 15 and Bolinao, 11. The towns of San Carlos, Mangatarem, Sta. Barbara, Anda, Calasiao, Sual, San Fabian and Agno have one case each, while Alaminos City and Bani have two cases and Dagupan City has three.

Based on the record of the Department of Health, there were 476 cases of cholera in 2004. For all acute gastroenteritis diseases, there were 10,199 cases reported in the same year.

A health official said that both 2004 and 2008 have high incidence of water-borne diseases due to similar pattern of frequent typhoons and monsoon rains. (PIO/Chona C. Bugayong)

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