news

Cardiac arrests in Oro surge in 2017

April 27, 2018

Speaking during the Awareness on Lifestyle Related Diseases Summit held over the weekend, City Health Office assistant head Rachel Dilla said that most of the victims come from the suburban barangays including Barangays 1 to 40 as well as Carmen, Bulua, Kauswagan, Lapasan, Gusa,  Canitoan, Bugo, Patag, Macasandig, Cugman, Nazareth, Macabalan, Consolacion, Iponan, Balulang, Tablon, Agusan, Bugo and Bayabas. In her presentation, Dilla attributed the increase of the number of victims to a less healthy lifestyle among the populace. Cardiac arrest remains to be the number one cause of death in Cagayan de Oro followed by pneumonia, cancer, cerebrovascular disease (stroke), hypertensive or high blood pressure, diabetes, vehicular accidents, tuberculosis and liver disease. Because of this, Dilla urged the people to habitually practice healthy living. In a separate forum, Department of Health (DOH) regional epidemiologist David Mendoza reported that the agency is closely monitoring an unusually high surge of measles cases in the region. For the period January 1 to April 2 alone, DOH already has recorded 42 measles cases in Cagayan de Oro City followed by 36 in Iligan City, 24 in Balo-I, Lanao del Norte; 23 in Maigo, Lanao del Norte; 18 in Ozamiz City, 14 in Tubod, Lanao del Norte; 12 in Medina, Misamis Oriental; ten in Salay, Misamis Oriental; ten in Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte; and ten in Baroy, Lanao del Norte. Mendoza reminded the public to watch out for the following diseases this summer: typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A, food poisoning, diarrhea, sore eyes, measles, dengue, malaria, sunburn and prickly heat.

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WHO SAGE says Dengvaxia safe and effective

April 26, 2018

In the said recommendation, SAGE affirmed the public health value of vaccination WITHOUT screening in hyperendemic settings such as the Philippines meaning vaccination without pre-screening is permissible in countries with high cases of dengue. The report specified that vaccination without pre-screening is allowed in countries with seroprevalence greater than 80% at 9 years old. Limited Philippine data showed that the seroprevalence rate in that age group is at 87% which supports vaccination without the need to pre-screen in PH. The update clarified that while pre-screen vaccination is still recommended, pre-screen tests are still being developed today.   The report further says that “the over-all population level benefit of vaccination remains favourable, but the vaccine performs differently in seropositive versus seronegative individuals.”   Meanwhile, Dr. Edsel Salvana, an infectious disease expert in the country has also emphasized the importance of the recent report as it would shed light to the confusion surrounding the vaccine today. In his Facebook page, he summarized the highlights of the SAGE update which also states that “Dengvaxia vaccine efficacy is confirmed in seropositive, in other words, it works and is effective and safe when used properly in those with previous dengue infection.”   Salvana also clarified that the SAGE report did not mention anything about the “viscerotropism” and “neurotropism” cause which the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), who in their autopsies, previously linked with children’s deaths; signifying that there is no shred of scientific evidence to support it. This also coincides with the statements of international dengue expert Dr.Scott Halstead, who mentioned in his testimony at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing last March that there is no proven causal link on the said conditions to the vaccine.   In the same light, Salvana also expressed concern on the impact of the said issue to the greater public as seen in his Facebook post: “while I agree that the ones responsible should be held liable for their actions, those who wilfully and deliberately spread false and inflammatory information in media and made the parents and children panic should also be held accountable.”   The SAGE recommendation found in the WHO official website, further encourages and validates the use of the vaccine by endemic countries in their integrated dengue control and prevention strategies. The update also reveals that dengvaxia remains the only vaccine which protects individuals in high dengue endemic countries from contracting severe dengue. WHO reports around 390 million dengue infections around the world today.

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WHO SAGE says Dengvaxia safe and effective

April 26, 2018

In the said recommendation, SAGE affirmed the public health value of vaccination WITHOUT screening in hyperendemic settings such as the Philippines meaning vaccination without pre-screening is permissible in countries with high cases of dengue. The report specified that vaccination without pre-screening is allowed in countries with seroprevalence greater than 80% at 9 years old. Limited Philippine data showed that the seroprevalence rate in that age group is at 87% which supports vaccination without the need to pre-screen in PH. The update clarified that while pre-screen vaccination is still recommended, pre-screen tests are still being developed today.   The report further says that “the over-all population level benefit of vaccination remains favourable, but the vaccine performs differently in seropositive versus seronegative individuals.”   Meanwhile, Dr. Edsel Salvana, an infectious disease expert in the country has also emphasized the importance of the recent report as it would shed light to the confusion surrounding the vaccine today. In his Facebook page, he summarized the highlights of the SAGE update which also states that “Dengvaxia vaccine efficacy is confirmed in seropositive, in other words, it works and is effective and safe when used properly in those with previous dengue infection.”   Salvana also clarified that the SAGE report did not mention anything about the “viscerotropism” and “neurotropism” cause which the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), who in their autopsies, previously linked with children’s deaths; signifying that there is no shred of scientific evidence to support it. This also coincides with the statements of international dengue expert Dr.Scott Halstead, who mentioned in his testimony at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing last March that there is no proven causal link on the said conditions to the vaccine.   In the same light, Salvana also expressed concern on the impact of the said issue to the greater public as seen in his Facebook post: “while I agree that the ones responsible should be held liable for their actions, those who wilfully and deliberately spread false and inflammatory information in media and made the parents and children panic should also be held accountable.”   The SAGE recommendation found in the WHO official website, further encourages and validates the use of the vaccine by endemic countries in their integrated dengue control and prevention strategies. The update also reveals that dengvaxia remains the only vaccine which protects individuals in high dengue endemic countries from contracting severe dengue. WHO reports around 390 million dengue infections around the world today.

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Tangub City opens Sobremesa 2018

April 26, 2018

This is the fourth year that the city government holds this Spanish-Mexican inspired celebration. This happens from the second week of April to the end of May. The summer trade fair in the city also coincides with Santa Cruzan, a popular religious event across the country. Sobremesa is a Spanish tradition that involves spending time relaxing after a meal to drink coffee or digestive liquor or to just continue hanging out chatting at the table after eating. This year’s Opening program was highlighted by a Caballo Mas Hermoso, a competition of clustered barangays in a parade of horses. The city officials led by City Mayor Philip T. Tan started the opening ritual by breaking the piñata that contained candies, goodies and coins. Then mongo beans were distributed by the city officials to the onlookers. Coins, candies, water all part of the ritual symbolize good luck. Mayor Tan said, “The year 2018 came with a very promising start. Let us continue to dream, to build, be prudent in our spending and be wiser in our decisions and undertakings.” He added going around a suitcase several times, still a part of the ritual, and indicates hope for more travels this year. The City officials, heads of local and national agencies and employees were all dressed in Mexican inspired attire. There was a competition as to the best attire among the barangay officials who paraded on-stage in their Mexican attire. More activities are slated in this two-month summer fair 2018. (Shaine Mae Nagtalon/PIA Misamis Occidental)

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IN VILLANUEVA TOWN: More village volunteers trained as disaster ‘warriors’

April 26, 2018

Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu said the assistance is in exchange for the surrendered loose firearms. Surrendering unlicensed firearms is in support of the national drive to end any form of violence in the country. In the launching, about 900 loose firearms were turned over to the government. Also present during the event were Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman, Maguindanao’s municipal mayors and other local officials, and representatives from security agencies, barangay, civil society organizations, as well as from women and youth sector. Gov. Mangudadatu said Maguindanaoans who surrendered their unregistered firearms will receive scholarship grant and P50,000 worth of livelihood assistance.The unregistered and high-powered guns turned over to the government were mostly from officials and civilians who were involved in ‘rido’ or clan feuds. Official data from ARMM’s Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission showed 588 cases of rido, or clan feuds, in the region from 2012 to 2018. The province of Maguindanao has 273 such cases, 54 of which remain unsettled. “Walang mabuting idudulot ang pag gamit ng baril kaya mas mabuti pa i-surrender na ninyo yan,” President Duterte said during the event. In February this year, residents in the towns of Parang, Barira, Matanog, and Buldon first surrendered their unregistered and high-powered guns. ARMM Gov. Hataman has encouraged other towns in the entire region to replicate the campaign. In support of the program, the ARMM government is already providing livelihood assistance to those who surrendered their unlicensed firearms.Residents and officials who are still illegally holding firearms were asked to voluntarily surrender so they will not be liable for charges of illegal possession of firearms. “The regional government supports the campaign and we are encouraging other towns in the ARMM to surrender their unlicensed firearms,” Gov. Hataman said adding that violence in all forms should stop. Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu stressed that possession of guns heightens the ego of gun holders. “This also increases their propensity to harm, or dominate, non-affluent people or groups. In most cases gun possessions lead to loss of lives, or limbs,” Gov. Mangudadatu added. “Bilang chairman ng barangay namin talagang kinakausap ko po lahat ng mga residente na isuko ang mga baril. At leastngayon kapag nag surrender ka, may tulong pang ibibigay ang gobyerno,” Nor Samilon, barangay chief of East Libutan, Mamasapano, said. To combat terrorism across the region, the ARMM government also launched this month the Program Against Violent Extremism, the regional government’s first model program in providing various interventions to former Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members who surrendered to the government. Four rebel returnees from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters also received livelihood assistance during Wednesday’s program led by President Duterte. Meanwhile, latest government data showed the number of returnees from the ASG as follows: Basilan – 139; Sulu – 61; and Tawi-Tawi – 23.

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Monsanto PH urges authorities to address proliferation of counterfeit seeds

April 26, 2018

Dr. Gabriel Romero, Regulatory Policy and Scientific Affairs Lead of Monsanto Philippines elaborated on the increased incidence of counterfeit seeds and its emerging threats to the country’s corn industry. “Adulterated seeds or fake seeds directly affect our farmers. The seeds may be low-priced but they are also of low-quality. Worse, they come out without proper stewardship measures, and thereby threaten GM technology and farmer’s livelihood,” he explained. “We want to put an end to this concern, as it sets in danger the very livelihood of our corn farmers as well as the corn industry,” Dr. Romero added. At present, more than 10% of our Bt corn seeds are produced illegally by unauthorized companies. These seeds are produced with BT and RR traits but are sold to the market as “conventional seeds”. According to a survey in 2015, farmers who used counterfeit seeds have observed a significant decrease in their yield and negative net income brought about by issues like smaller grain, unfilled ear and higher susceptibility to pests. Counterfeit seeds are commercialized without “refuge” in a bag. The agricultural firm appealed to the regulators to help address this issue as absence of refuge in counterfeit seeds may put the GM technology at risk. Observing the “refuge system” is an important requirement to keep pests such as corn borer from becoming resistant to Bt corn. Meanwhile, Ms. Charina Garrido-Ocampo, Corporate Affairs Lead of Monsanto Philippines highlighted the company’s effort in promoting modern agriculture to address the country’s food challenges and environmental sustainability. “Agricultural biotechnology can help us achieve food security. It is not a silver bullet which can solve all food-related concerns, including the lack of food, but it offers a solution which we should be open to,” Ms. Ocampo stressed. The briefing was conducted in partnership with the Publishers Association of the Philippines (PAPI) and was attended by key members and officers of its Mindanao Chapter.

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