MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said that it is conducting a close monitoring and assessment of the health condition of the people affected by typhoon “Ruby” (Hagupit), particularly those temporarily sheltered in evacuation centers.
DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy said that prior to Ruby’s expected impact, all DOH-retained hospitals and medical centers in the affected areas were directed to promptly render medical services.
These DOH medical facilities were told use a “Buddy System,” under which the designated partner or buddy from unaffected region will assist those facilities in the affected areas to meet the needed health services of the affected persons.
Dr. Lee-Suy said that DOH regional office staff and nurses were also earlier deployed in designated evacuation centers under full alert status.
“In one of our bulletin reports issued, they were given orders to be present in DOH desks 24/7 to ensure that effective monitoring of the health conditions of the evacuees are undertaken,” Dr. Lee-Suy added.
He also said that DOH had earlier prepositioned enough medicines and Water Sanitation and Hygiene Teams are deployed in the areas to ensure that there are clean source of water.
The health official asked residents in the affected areas to be wary about the dangers of wading in flood waters as dirty flood waters contaminated with different dirty elements are often the source of skin diseases and other bacterial infections like leptospirosis.
Apart from this, he said the presence of pointed or sharp objects such as cans, pieces of broken bottle and animals such as rats and snakes in flood waters pose danger to the people, especially children.
If it is unavoidable to wade in the flood, he said that the best thing to do is to use boots or other protective footwear.
After wading in the flood, Dr. Lee-Suy said people should wash their feet with soap and clean water to prevent lepstospirosis.
The health official also asked those who were wounded to consult the nearest government health facility for the provision of anti-tetanus shots (ATS) and antibiotics.
According to Lee-Suy, ATS must be given within 24 hours to prevent any severe complications such as infection of the wounds and tetanus.
He also warned against the use or application of oral antibiotics directly on the wound without proper consultation with a physician.
Lee-Suy added that misuse of antibiotics or self-medication poses danger in the sense that the efficacy of the antibiotics decreases wherein the body develops resistance.
“All wounds should be immediately cleaned with soap and water,” said Lee-Suy.
The health official also assured that enough DOH personnel are deployed in the affected areas ready to provide health assistance to the affected people.