PIA News Service - Thursday, July 2, 2009

Meaningful Nutrition Month Celebration: 
An effective weapon against the spread of A(H1N1) virus

By: Dave M. Suyao

For around two months now, the country was stirred by the spread of the swine flu otherwise known as the A(H1N1) virus.

Everyday, the increasing number of people who are inflected with the virus and reminders from the Department of Health and the World Health Organization on the measures to prevent the spread of the virus are the main menu of television, news papers and radio. But people’s participation is the most effective weapon to battle the enemy, the A(H1N1) virus.

In a meeting by the Agusan del Sur Provincial Nutrition Council (PNC) in preparation to the celebration of the Nutrition Month, various activities were defined, but the most effective is the information drive slated July 2 – 24, all over the province.

With the them “Wastong Nutrisyon Kailangan, Lifestyle Diseases Iwasan” the PNC has agreed to support Provincial Health Officer Dr. Joel Esparagoza’s call for personal hygiene and sanitation being the most effective strategy to prevent the spread of the virus. 

“During the info drive, we will see to it that healthy lifestyle like personal hygiene and sanitation will be discussed thoroughly in order to counter the spread of the A(H1N1) virus in the province, and to prevent other diseases that can be acquired by unsanitary environment”, Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Mabe Dalen said.

According to Dalen, strong body and mind acquired through good and correct nutrition can shield a person against diseases not only from A(H1N1) virus. With this outlook, Dalen said, we will celebrate the nutrition month meaningfully so that we can contribute in our own way, in preventing the spread of the virus and the acquisition of other diseases.

Among the activities lined up this month in celebrating the nutrition month are: Dietary Clinic/ Counseling; Screening for FBS; Weights and Body Mass Index measurements, Dietary Counseling; Information Drive and Advocacy meetings; Hataw, Symposium on Healthy Lifestyle Diseases and; Launching of Breastfeeding Ambassador. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)



Duque orders DOH to bolster mitigation efforts against A (H1N1)  

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III reported Wednesday that the Department of Health (DOH) is further bolstering its mitigation efforts against Influenza A(H1N1) in light of the anticipated rise of cases in the country.

On June 30, Duque convened another DOH Command Conference attended by members of the A (H1N1) Task Force, the DOH regional health directors, the chiefs of hospitals of all the 72 DOH-retained hospitals in the country, and some representatives from the private sector.
 
“As we anticipate more cases in the coming months, we must institute effective mitigation measures to save lives and prevent deaths and to reduce the impact of the pandemic to our nation and the economy,” Duque said.
 
With the shift toward the mitigation strategy, the DOH is ensuring that all government hospitals, both at the national and local government levels have the capacity to administer care to high-risk patients where the severe manifestations of the A (H1N1) virus are frequently seen. This is in accordance with the directives of President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo last week to prepare well-equipped isolation wards in all state-run hospitals throughout the country.
 
High risk patients include patients with preexisting medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, immunosuppression, HIV/AIDs, TB, pregnant women and the very young and the elderly. 

Duque also called for a meeting with the member agencies of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) to engage them, particularly the DILG, in strengthening the involvement of local government units in the A (H1N1) response.
 
This is to make sure that local governments have surveillance, monitoring and response systems in place and that hospitals and primary health care facilities under their jurisdiction are able to identify, treat and manage A (H1N1) cases.
 
“We have also requested the NDCC member agencies, especially DepEd, CHED and TESDA and PIA to help us in our nationwide campaign against A (H1N1). This is to make sure that our information and education activities reach all schools, barangays and provinces in the country,” Duque added.
 
Come next week, DOH is also set to meet with the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) and hospital groups like the Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) and the Philippine Hospital Infection Control Society (PHICS) to engage all hospitals and healthcare providers in the appropriate treatment and management of A (H1N1) patients according to the set interim guidelines of the DOH.
 
Meanwhile, Duque announced that 1,709 confirmed A (H1N1) cases have been reported to the DOH from the 1st week of May up to June 27, 2009. Eighty-six percent (86%) or 1,485 of these cases have already recovered, while the remaining 224 (14%) are still under treatment at present, most of them under home management.

“All cases exhibited mild symptoms with the most common as fever (86%), cough (81%), and nasal congestion (49%),” Duque said, noting however, that there was one reported death.  


“The ages of cases range from 5 months to 79 years old, with 18 years old as median age. Most of them belonged to the 10-19 years age group (831 or 49%). Majority of the cases were male (894 or 52%),” Duque described.
 
Duque disclosed that of the 1,709 reported cases, 1,568 (92%) were Filipinos; the rest were American (with 17), Japanese (8), Chine (4), Korean (3), German (2), and one each from Australia, Canada, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Sweden, Thailand, and Turkey.
 
“Two hundred and eighty-five cases (17%) had history of travel to a country which has reported A (H1N1) cases. Most came from the USA, China, Japan and Singapore,” Duque noted.
 
Duque said that as far as the geographic profile of the 1,709 cases is concerned the National Capital Region has the most number of patients: comprising 72% (1,225). Cases from NCR mostly came from Quezon City, Manila, ParaƱaque, Pasig and Makati.
 
The three other regions that reported the most number of cases were: Regions IV-A, III and VIII.
 
As far as the global report is concerned, the World Health Organization, as of June 29, has recorded 70,893 cases with 311 deaths from 109 reporting countries. (PIA)
NPA treacherously harassed police station in Agusan Sur
 
Santa Josefa Municipal Police Station in Agusan del Sur was harrassed by more or less 40 New People's Army (NPA) on July 1, 2009. According to reports reaching Police Regional Office 13, the incident happened at 9:15 in the morning and lasted only for ten minutes as the NPAs fled immediately to evade the arrival of other members of the police station who were earlier dispatched to respond to the request for assistance of the Principal of Santa Josefa National High School.
 
Carted away are three M16 rifles, one M14 rifle and one 9mm pistol of the policemen who were left in the station. No one was reported injured, missing or dead. 
 
The policemen inside the police station were caught surprised and were not able to retaliate since there are many civillians inside the ABC Building beside the police station where other offices are housed.
 
Deceptively, the NPAs poised as army troops wearing camouflage uniform, parked their vehicle in front of the station and rushed inside. They also timed their raid during office hours in utter disregard of the safety of the innocent civilians.  
 
Government troops from Agusan del Sur Provincial Mobile Groups, the 14th Regional Mobile Group and the Philippine Army immedaitely reinforced the beleaguered station.  
Blocking points were set and pursuit operations are ongoing.

 
Security of vital installations in the area was also heightened. P/Chief Superintendent Jaime Eloreta Milla, Caraga Regional Director has directed the conduct of an in-depth investigation to determine whether Police Inspector Elizer Pido, Santa Josefa Chief of Police and his men have incurred administrative or criminal liability under the circumstances. He also ordered all police units to be extra vigilant and intensify intelligence gathering. (PSSUPT Nestor Monton Fajura, PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

POLICE REPORTS 
By PO3 Philip Amer Posas Mazo

Arrest of wanted person

On July 1, 2009 around 3:30 in the afternoon, Roger Trajano Gorias, 28 years old, married and a resident of Barangay Albor, Libjo, Dinagat Island was arrested by the PNP elements of Libjo Municipal Police Station led by PSI Sandro Bantad Santillan, OIC. 

The arrest was made by virtue of Warrant of Arrest (WOA) issued by Hon Evangeline Yuipco Bayana, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 32, Surigao City. Gorias is charged of robbery docketed under Criminal Case Number 1169 and with recommended bailbond of Php 24,000.00. Subject person is now detained at the said police station for proper disposition. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on fatal vehicular accident

On June 30, 2009 around 6:30 in the evening along the national highway of Purok-5 Barangay Pag-antayan, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, a Yamaha RS 1OOT blue motorcycle with plate number PG-2561 driven by Joaquin C Aranas, 57 years old, married, a Catilan Post Office employee and a resident of Bay-bay, Carrascal, Surigao del Sur hit from behind Juanita Villamor, of legal age, married and resident of Purok-5 Pag-antayan, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur who was then riding a mountain bike.

Initial investigation disclosed that while Aranas on his motorcycle was traveling heading towards Carrascal accidentally bumped the bicycle also traveling in the same lane. Both vehicles crashed into the concrete road injuring the two riders who were rushed by the responding PNP personnel to Madrid District Hospital for immediate medical treatment but Mr Aranas was declared dead-on-arrival (DOA) by the attending physician due to serious head injuries.
 
Both vehicles are temporarily impounded at Cantilan Municipal Police Station for proper disposition. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Arrest of illegal gambling suspect

On June 30, 2009 around 7:OO in the evening at the national highway, Cabugan, Bag-ong Lungsod, Tandag, Surigao del Sur, elements from Tandag Police Municipal Station led by SPO2 Loreto C Suares, apprehended a certain Margie Barbadillo, 31 years old, married and a resident of said place for having been caught in the act engaging in illegal gambling activities known as "Last Two Digits".

Confiscated from her possession were one stub filled-up receipts, one piece ballpen, one piece calculator, one piece blank tally sheet, bet money amounting to Php 2,950.00.  


Arrested person including the illegal gambling paraphernalia was brought to Tandag Municipal Police Station for proper disposition. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)