April 14, 2024

The Department of Health is reminding the public to take necessary precautions with the potential impacts of El Niño on public health.

Maging proactive tayo. What can I do as an individual to prepare myself, my children, and also the elderly that are living with me? As a community, how do we help each other?” Geeny Anne Austria of the DOH-Cordillera  Health Promotion Unit and  Communications Management Unit said during the Usapang PIA radio program on Jan. 11.  

Austria cautioned the public about the common diseases during El Niño such as food and waterborne diseases, influenza, leptospirosis, dengue, and chikungunya.

These diseases are most likely to spread due to the increased presence of stagnant water and higher temperatures, creating a favorable breeding condition for disease-carrying mosquitoes and bacteria, she said.

To minimize the risk of contracting these illnesses, Austria reminded the public to practice proper hygiene, especially proper handwashing. It is also essential to ensure food and water safety through proper storage to prevent contamination.

She further advised the public to stay hydrated and seek medical attention if experiencing any symptoms related to heat exhaustion, or other extreme heat-related illnesses.

To mitigate the effect of El Niño on public health, Austria said the DOH-CAR continues to strengthen health system in the local government units  and by training personnel of health care facilities to prepare them to respond to any disaster,  or if there is an increase in diseases. This is to ensure prompt and effective interventions, safeguarding the well-being of the community.

The DOH also continues to advocate implementation of ordinances on health-promoting behaviors for people to protect themselves and others from diseases.

She also hopes for the installation of more handwashing facilities at various sites.

Ti Sanitation Code ket implemented and enforced tano ma-ensure a ti water source and the food that we eat are safe.”

In El Niño Advisory 7, strong El Niño is ongoing and is expected to continue through February. Majority of global climate models suggest that El Niño will persist until Mays.

El Niño increases the likelihood of below normal rainfall conditions, which could bring negative impacts such as dry spells and droughts, and may adversely affect the different climate-sensitive sectors such as health. – Debbie E. Gasingan