In observance of the Generics Awareness Month for September, the Department of Health (DOH) Bicol urged the public to refrain from overusing or misusing antibiotics by taking in antibiotic medicines without the doctor’s prescription or discontinuing use before the specified date. This is to prevent the spread of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) wherein the microorganisms exposed to antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics develop a resistance from medicines.
DOH warns that misusing antibiotics would render medicines ineffective and let infections persist in the body, which can increase the risk of spread to others. AMR also threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi.
DOH 5 Regional Director Napoleon Arevalo cited that “without effective antimicrobials for prevention and treatment of infections, medical procedures such as organ transplantation, cancer chemotherapy, diabetes management and major surgery would be compromised.”
He also added that the cost of health care for patients with resistant infections is higher than care for patients with non-resistant infections due to longer duration of illness, additional tests and use of more expensive drugs.
To strengthen the thrust of preventing AMRs, DOH conducts Philippine Antibiotic Awareness Week every November. Meanwhile in Bicol, DOH Pharmacist III, Maribel Cruz, also started to integrate lectures on AMR on most programs of the DOH Bicol to further spread the advocacy.
“The best we could do is be strict with prescriptions, and conduct more information caravans so we can convince people to change their behavior when it comes to taking antibiotics,” said Cruz.
In 2016, 490 000 people developed multi-drug resistant TB (MDRTB) globally, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), a form of tuberculosis that is resistant to at least 4 of the core anti-TB drugs, has been identified in 105 countries, as data from World Health Organization (WHO).
Meanwhile, records from 2017 registered a total of 368 people in Bicol region afflicted with MDRTB and mostly affects people from ages 25 to 54, especially males.
WHO revealed that drug resistance is starting to complicate the fight against HIV and malaria, as well.
DOH advises the public to always consult with a doctor before taking in antibiotics, follow and finish the correct regimen when taking the medicine, and desist from giving excess antibiotics to others. Additionally, it is recommended to cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing to prevent bacteria from spreading.
Seeing the rise of cases of measles in the region, the Department of Health (DOH) Bicol intensified its prevention campaign and urged the public to avail vaccines. According to DOH, unvaccinated children and pregnant women are among the population with increased risk of acquiring measles.
The DOH Bicol has recorded 197 cases from January to September this year, which is a 194% spike from the 67 cases from 2017. Masbate holds the highest record among the other provinces with 69 cases as of date, followed by Camarines Sur – 60, Camarines Norte – 41, Albay – 12, Sorsogon – 12, and Catanduanes - 3. The DOH attributes the rise of cases to the public’s resistance to vaccination.
“The increasing trend of cases of measles in Bicol is alarming and that is why we are strengthening our information caravan to increase the level of awareness of the general public regarding tigdas (measles), as well emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated as part of the prevention method,” said Regional Director of DOH Bicol, Dr. Napoleon Arevalo. He also advised the public to seek and avail vaccines from Supplemental Immunization Activities of DOH.
“Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment for measles so the best that we can do here is make sure we prevent it, the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine is 93% effective at preventing measles and we included it in our Basta Wednesday Bakuna Day program,” he added.
Complications from measles can be serious and even fatal resulting in blindness, severe diarrhea, respiratory infections such as pneumonia, encephalitis or the acute inflammation of the brain, and even death.
DOH Bicol assured that it would continue its information and education campaign on the prevention of measles in the region. Part of the strategy that DOH employs is the routine measles vaccination for children through school health caravan, and fixed house-to-house immunization.
DOH Bicol Family Health Cluster Head, Dr. Rita Mae Ang-Bon reminded that vaccines are safe and further encouraged stakeholders to help their immunization program.
“We want to inform everyone that vaccines are safe and it is the primary prevention for measles. We also have ongoing campaigns in schools and communities and we would need everyone’s support in order to make Bicol tigdas-free,” said Ang-Bon.
Nakikiisa ang Philippine Council for Health Research and Development sa selebrasyon ng Buwan ng Wika na may temang “Filipino: Wika ng Saliksik.” Bilang pangunahing ahensya ng Kagawaran ng Agham at Teknolohiya na nangangasiwa sa pananaliksik sa larangan ng kalusugan, hinihikayat ng Konseho ang pagpapalawig ng paggamit at pangtangkilik ng wikang pambansa sa pananaliksik, hindi lamang tuwing buwan ng wika, kung hindi pati na rin sa pang araw-araw na kagamitan.
CEBU CITY- The seventeen (17) regional health research consortia were gathered by the DOST-PCHRD through the Symmetrix Research Consultancy Co. for a regional consultation on the standardization of the Basic Research Methods Training Module last September 4-5, 2018 at the Golden prince Hotel and Suites, Cebu City, Philippines.
LEGAZPI CITY- The BCHRD Resource Mobilization Committee (ResMob) conducted a meeting with representatives from the Department of Health Center for Health Development V (CHD V) to discuss issues on the memorandum of agreement on funding health researches and management of research funds.
The Bicol Consortium for Health Research and Development was established in 2007 to address the need to establish a strong health research and development coordination system involving various institutions in Region V with interest in health research. Putting them together to work on consortium arrangement will promote complementation thereby increase synergy despite limited resources for Research and Development undertakings. The primary objective of BCHRD is to institute/strengthen the system of collaboration in Region V to develop and enhance capacity of research institutions within the region which has interest and engage in health and related researches, as a strategy to improve the health conditions of the Bicolanos.