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WHO calls for global action on sepsis - cause of 1 in 5 deaths worldwide

September 10, 2020

GENEVA--The World Health Organization’s first global report on sepsis finds that the effort to tackle millions of deaths and disabilities due to sepsis is hampered by serious gaps in knowledge, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. According to recent studies, sepsis kills 11 million people each year, many of them children. It disables millions more. But there’s an urgent need for better data. Most published studies on sepsis have been conducted in hospitals and intensive care units in high-income countries, providing little evidence from the rest of the world. Furthermore, the use of different definitions of sepsis, diagnostic criteria and hospital discharge coding makes it difficult to develop a clear understanding of the true global burden of sepsis. “The world must urgently step up efforts to improve data about sepsis so all countries can detect and treat this terrible condition in time,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This means strengthening health information systems and ensuring access torapid diagnostic tools, and quality care including safe and affordable medicines and vaccines.” Sepsis occurs in response to an infection. When sepsis is not recognized early and managed promptly, it can lead to septic shock, multiple organ failure and death. Patients who are critically ill with severe COVID-19 and other infectious diseases are at higher risk of developing and dying from sepsis. Even sepsis survivors are not out of danger: only half will completely recover, the rest will either die within 1 year or be burdened by long-term disabilities. A serious complication of infection Sepsis disproportionately affects vulnerable populations: newborns, pregnant women and people living in low-resource settings. Approximately 85.0% of sepsis cases and sepsis-related deaths occur in these settings. Almost half of the 49 million cases of sepsis each year occur among children, resulting in 2.9 million deaths, most of which could be prevented through early diagnosis and appropriate clinical management. These deaths are often a consequence of diarrhoeal diseases or lower respiratory infections. Obstetric infections, including complications following abortion or infections following caesarean section, are the third most common cause of maternal mortality. Globally, it is estimated that for every 1000 women giving birth, 11 women experience infection-related, severe organ dysfunction or death. The report also finds that sepsis frequently results from infections acquired in health care settings. Around half (49%) of patients with sepsis in intensive care units acquired the infection in the hospital. An estimated 27% of people with sepsis in hospitals and 42% of people in intensive care units will die. Antimicrobial resistance is a major challenge in sepsis treatment as it complicates the ability to treat infections, especially in health-care associated infections. Improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis Improved sanitation, water quality and availability, and infection prevention and control measures, such as appropriate hand hygiene can prevent sepsis and save lives - but must be coupled with early diagnosis, appropriate clinical management, and access to safe and affordable medicines and vaccines. These interventions could prevent as many as 84% of newborn deaths due to sepsis. So WHO calls on the global community to: * Improve robust study designs and high-quality data collection, especially in low- and middle-income countries. * Scale-up global advocacy, funding and the research capacity for epidemiological evidence on the true burden of sepsis. * Improve surveillance systems, starting at the primary care level, including the use of standardized and feasible definitions in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), and leveraging existing programmes and disease networks. * Develop rapid, affordable and appropriate diagnostic tools, particularly for primary and secondary levels of care, to improve sepsis identification, surveillance, prevention and treatment. * Engage and better educate health workers and communities not to underestimate the risk of infections evolving to sepsis, and to seek care promptly in order to avoid clinical complications and the spread of epidemics. (PR)

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More than 3 billion people protected from harmful trans fat in their food

September 10, 2020

But, 11 out of 15 countries with the most coronary heart disease deaths due to trans fats have yet to take actions to eliminate the substances TWO years into the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ambitious effort to eliminate industrially produced trans fats from the global food supply, the Organization reports that 58 countries so far have introduced laws that will protect 3.2 billion people from the harmful substance by the end of 2021. But more than 100 countries still need to take actions to remove these harmful substances from their food supplies. Consumption of industrially produced trans fats are estimated to cause around 500,000 deaths per year due to coronary heart disease. “In a time when the whole world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we must make every effort to protect people’s health. That must include taking all steps possible to prevent noncommunicable diseases that can make them more susceptible to the coronavirus, and cause premature death,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Our goal of eliminating trans fats by 2023 must not be delayed.” Fifteen countries account for approximately two thirds of the worldwide deaths linked to trans fat intake. Of these, four (Canada, Latvia, Slovenia, United States of America) have implemented WHO-recommended best-practice policies since 2017, either by setting mandatory limits for industrially produced trans fats to 2% of oils and fats in all foods or banning partially hydrogenated oils (PHO). But the remaining 11 countries (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Republic of Korea) still need to take urgent action. The report highlights two encouraging trends. First, when countries do act, they overwhelmingly adopt best-practice policies rather than less restrictive ones. New policy measures passed and/or introduced in the past year in Brazil, Turkey and Nigeria all meet WHO’s criteria for best-practice policies. Countries, such as India, that have previously implemented less restrictive measures, are now updating policies to align with best practice. Second, regional regulations that set standards for multiple countries are becoming increasingly popular, emerging as a promising strategy for accelerating progress towards global elimination by 2023. In 2019, the European Union passed a best-practice policy, and all 35 countries that are part of the WHO American Region/Pan American Health Organization unanimously approved a regional plan of action to eliminate industrially produced trans fats by 2025. Together, these two regional initiatives have the potential to protect an additional 1 billion people in more than 50 countries who were not previously protected by trans fat regulations. “With the global economic downturn, more than ever, countries are looking for best buys in public health,” said Dr Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives. “Making food trans fat-free, saves lives and saves money, and, by preventing heart attacks, reduces the burden on health care facilities.” Despite the encouraging progress, important disparities persist in policy coverage by region and country income level. Most policy actions to date, including those passed in 2019 and 2020, have been in higher-income countries and in the WHO Regions of the Americas and Europe. Best-practice policies have been adopted by seven upper-middle-income countries and 33 high-income countries; no low-income or lower-middle-income countries have yet done so. (PR)

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BOC-10 anti-smuggling seizes P20m cigarettes

September 10, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The unrelenting anti-smuggling operation of the Bureau of Customs-10 (BOC-10) has resulted to the confiscation and destruction of P20.7 million worth of illegally imported cigarettes on yesterday. Among those seized bore the brand names Union, Bravo, Famous, Farstar, Septwolves, YS, San Marino, Cannon. John Simon, BOC-10 district collector, said the contraband consisted of 2,150 reams or 188,824 of various brands. The cigarettes entered the port of Ozamiz in Ozamiz City and Mindanao Container Terminal sub-port in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental on two occasions, on August 25, 2020 and Sept. 1, 2020, Simon said. “We don’t want cigarettes that are illegal and are sold here in Northern Mindanao,” Simon said. The confiscated cigarettes were destroyed through a shredding machine at the Greenleaf 88 non-hazardous waste disposal facility in Barangay Bayabas, this city. Simon said the items were confiscated as the consignees failed to pay duties and taxes and in violation of Republic Act 10836 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. The BOC-10, however, has yet to identify the names of the consignees, but Simon said they will be facing charges once their identities are established. Oliver Valiente, chief of the BOC-10’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, the contraband came from China and neighboring Asian countries that entered through the Zamboanga Peninsula. According to the Department of Finance, consignees use a new smuggling scheme to sneak the illegal cigarettes into the country. Citing a report from BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez III said P53 million-worth of cigarettes contained in two container vans that were recently confiscated in the port of Davao on July 12, 2020 came from Ningbo, China and was declared as tissue paper. When the cargo reached its final destination in the port of Davao, Guerrero said “the containers of smuggled cigarettes were not included in its inward foreign manifest despite other customs documents proving the existence of the shipment.”

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Bureau of Customs R-10 turns over hydrochloric acid to PDEA for destruction

September 9, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO - Over 320 drums of Hydrochloric Acid has been turned-over by the Bureau of Customs Port of Cagayan de Oro to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 10 (PDEA 10) on Tuesday, September 8,2020 at Mindanao Container Terminal Sub-port, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.   The hydrochloric acid is a precursor chemical for the manufacture of methamphetamine hydrochloride or 'shabu'.   It was intercepted by the Bureau of Customs at MCT sub-port last 2017 shipped from India and was found out the shipment consigned by Juchem Enterprises has no corresponding permit.   The BOC immediately recommended the issuance of Warrant of Seizure and Detention for the said shipment.   Port Collector John Simon said this is in compliance of the order of President Rodrigo Duterte and Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to guard port of entries from illegal shipments.   "This illegal drugs do not come in as finish product in our country but they come as precursor chemicals that is why we have to be alert," said Collector John Simon.   The Bureau of Customs in the region will also strengthen its partneship with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to strictly monitor the entry of illegal drugs and its precursor chemicals.   After the signing of the memorandum of turn-over the PDEA shall now take charge of the custody of the hydrochloric acid for appropriate handling.   Dir. Emerson Rosales of PDEA 10 said they will now file a Petition for Destruction to ensure the chemicals will be dispose properly and will not be use illegally.   The chemicals are estimated to cost 20 million pesos.

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2 MisOr workers, positive for COVID

September 8, 2020

MISAMIS Oriental--Two regular employees of the provincial capitol in Misamis Oriental have been tested positive of COVID-19, provincial governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano said Tuesday. Emano made the announcement Tuesday morning as he instructed the provincial health office to disinfect all the provincial offices at the provincial capitol compound in Gen. Juan Luna St. , Cagayan de Oro City. The provincial capitol workers are regular employees and the findings are alarming after 10 municipal towns in Misamis Oriental have already reported on positive COVID-19 cases in their areas, Emano said. “In spite of the stricter measures, like requiring all workers to wear the face shield and face masks while reporting to work, including visitors who enter the provincial capitol building, virus has breached the protocols,” Emano said. In Cagayan De Oro Ctiy, City Councilor Jade Roa Pascual was the first local official, along with a member of the Cagayan De Oro Fire District, who contracted COVID-19 positive. Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno have been downplaying the spread of the coronavirus in this premier capital of Northern Mindanao until he admitted Tuesday the “mounting” spread of the COVID-19 cases in the city.

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RWM hotels offer exclusive Test + Hotel Packages for Cebu Pacific passengers

September 8, 2020

IN partnership with the Philippines’ leading carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), three signature hotels in Resorts World Manila (RWM) will be offering accommodation with testing packages exclusively for CEB passengers. Beginning August 27, Holiday Inn Express Manila, Savoy Hotel Manila, and Belmont Hotel Manila will offer 3D2N accommodation packages starting at P11, 900 for single occupancy, for guests flying in and out of Manila via CEB. The package includes a one-way airport transfer, full-board meals, as well as a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to be administered by accredited partner hospital(s). For guests’ convenience and safety, all PCR testing will be conducted within the RWM property. “We are always looking for ways to make the experience better and more convenient for our passengers. Since some destinations require Negative RT-PCR test results prior to entry, we are working with Resorts World Manila to provide our passengers with more options,” said Candice Iyog, CEB VP for Marketing & Customer Experience. As part of RWM’s response to COVID 19, enhanced and stricter sanitation protocols are put in place in all hotels, such as the Stay Safe program of Savoy and Belmont, as well as Extra Safe with HIEx, to ensure guests’ safety. “It has always been our commitment to provide safety and convenience to our guests as we want them to feel secured and comfortable throughout their stay,” said Kathy Mercado, RWM Senior Director for Hotel Sales and Marketing. Double occupancy rooms are also available for P17, 200. Guests who wish to extend their stay may do so for additional fees - as low as P3, 800 per night for single occupancy, and P4, 300 per night for double. This offer may be booked until December 30, 2020 via the Cebu Pacific Travel Reminders page: https://bit.ly/CEBFlightReminders . Passengers will then be redirected to RWM’s website (https://www.rwmanila.com/cebu-pacific-hotel-package) where they will be able to finalize their booking. Guests are encouraged to secure reservations at least five (5) days prior to the check-in date. To know more about this exclusive package, visit www.rwmanila.com and follow @resortsworldmanila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. (PR)

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