MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday advised people in Typhoon Ruby affected areas to boil their water for drinking and cooking to ensure the potability of the water.
The DOH said that water must continuously boil for at least 2 minutes from the time it starts boiling. Boiling will ensure that water is safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of immediate or long-term harm.
In Typhoon “Ruby” bulletin 3, the DOH also advised the public to practice proper hand washing before and after eating, and before and after using the toilet.
It added that exclusive breastfeeding for infants up to 6 months of age must be continued, saying that it is working with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and local health authorities to ensure that evacuation centers are mother- and baby-friendly.
These measures will prevent water and food-borne diseases, particularly for those temporarily sheltered in evacuation centers.
The DOH will also conduct anti-measles and anti-polio vaccination for all children aged 6 months up to below 5 years in evacuation centers. Vitamin A supplementation will also be conducted. The DOH said vaccination and supplementation will be conducted in coordination with the local health authorities.
The DOH said all sick children in evacuation centers must be brought to the nearest government health facility.
These reminders are being issued to ensure that people in Typhoon “Ruby” affected areas remain disease-free and to prevent the spread of disease and its complications, the DOH said in the bulletin.
The DOH has also issued interim guidelines for the acceptance and deployment of local and foreign medical teams who will complement ongoing national and local disaster response efforts:
For foreign medical teams (FMTs), the DOH will only accept Type 2 (Inpatient Surgical Emergency Care) medical teams and FMTs with existing partnerships with local government units for deployment sites.
At the moment, adequate numbers of Type 1 (Outpatient Emergency Care) teams from national and local health authorities are available. Foreign medical teams must be able to ensure their self-sufficiency and sustainability of their operations including provisions for food, water, and fuel for the duration of their deployment.
FMTs coming from West African countries (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, or Mali) or FMTs that responded to the Ebola virus disease must notify in advance the Office of the Secretary and await further instructions.
These organizations must fill out the attached registration form and assess their team type. This information will assist the DOH in its evaluation for possible deployment.
For foreign organizations, the Philippine Embassies and Consulates in their areas must be copy furnished of the registration form.
Only registered organizations will be deployed. The DOH will assess the capacities of these Foreign and Local Medical Teams and will issue approvals for deployment. Please note that the station of operation might change in accordance with the latest situation.
Organizations with the intent of sending medical teams to the Philippines should contact the DOH using the following information:
Acting Secretary Janette L. Garin MD, MBA-H Office of the Secretary Department of Health Telephone No. (632) 651-7800 locals 1352, 1301, Fax (632) 310-7560;Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org Attention Dir. Maylene Beltran, Bureau of International Health Cooperation.