Health Secretary Stresses Need for Hygiene & Sanitation

Article excerpt

Department of Health (DoH) Secretary Francisco T. Duque III yesterday advised the public to practice proper hygiene and sanitation and to ensure the potability of drinking water in order to avoid diseases associated with climate change such as dengue, malaria, and typhoid fever.

"We advise people to really exercise proper hygiene, sanitation and ensure water potability, and the treatment of water systems and (patients) have to be brought in hospitals earlier for proper evaluation and treatment," Duque said in an interview yesterday.

Since the start of the year, health officials have issued warnings on the surge of diseases associated with the significant changes in weather conditions that cause temperature-related illnesses and deaths.

The World Health Organization (WHO) regional office in Manila earlier noted the dramatic surge in the number of dengue, malaria, and typhoid fever cases in the country as reported by the National Epidemiology Center (NEC).

A study presented by Dr. John Julliard Go, WHO national officer for noncommunicable diseases, said the most evident effect of global warming in the country was the sudden increase in dengue, malaria and typhoid fever cases in 1998 when the Philippines experienced the El Nino phenomenon.

In a given period in 1998, Dr. Go said NEC recorded almost 40,000 dengue cases nationwide, 1,200 cholera cases and nearly 1,000 typhoid fever cases. …