DOH Bicol highlights SPEED System on Mayon response, Nutrition Month

Daraga, Albay — The Department of Health Bicol Center for Health Development (DOH Bicol CHD) has established health stations in evacuation centers through LGUs and intensified the Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters (SPEED System).

This was announced by DOH Bicol CHD Regional Director Ernie Vera in a press conference Wednesday, July 5 to address updates on the Mayon response, Measles-Rubella and Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-OPV SIA), National Nutrition Month, and Health Events.

Vera says cough, colds, sore throat with or without fever are among the top illnesses in the evacuation centers.

“Basically natural po yan sa area na congested. Basically we expect those things to happen. Kaya ngani po an satuyang health clinic diyan… they should be on 24 hours,” Vera said.

[Translation: Basically, it’s natural to occur in a congested area, so we expect those things to happen. Thus, our health clinics should be on 24 hours.]

Vera adds they have extended psychosocial support to 5, 724 evacuees housed in the different evacuation centers from the seven (7) affected municipalities in Albay since June 14 to July 4, 2023.

Also present was the National Nutirition Council Bicol represented by Arlene Reario, Nutrition Program Coordinator who explained the importance of a balanced diet and how a family that relies on a minimum wage (province rate) income can attain it.

“Tamang diskarte ang sagot. Una, magtanim ka ng sarili mong gulay, hindi naman mahirap ang magtanim. Desisyon yan na gamitin yung konting pera na ipo-provide mo sa family mo sa mas maayos na pagkain,” Reario said.

[Translation: Right strategy is the answer. First, you have to plant your own vegetables. It’s not that hard to plant. It’s your own decision whether your financial support that’s just enough for your family will generate food that is also nutritious enough.]

Reario adds, “I always believe na tamang impormasyon at willingness na sana makapag bigay ng mas maayos [na pagkain] sa aking pamilya. Yun ang magiging basehan mo para mas maayos ang mai-provide mo. At sana bawasan din yung ibang pinaggagastusan, yung hindi makakatulong para ayusin yung pagkain.”

[Translation: Access to the right information and willingness to give your family nutritious food are the keys to ensuring that you can provide better for your family. It’s also essential not to dwell on unimportant priorities [wants] that will just result in a financial issue.]

Meanwhile, Monrey Isaiah Mancilla, Head of Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Cluster and Health Promotion and Communications Cluster, reiterated the importance of preventing Hepatitis B through vaccination.

“We are advocating promotion and prevention. Paano ma pe-prevent? The first 24 hours pakapanganak kailangan mabakunahan agad ang ating mga chikiting ng Hepatitis B vaccine. Bakit? Kasi kailangan na maka-form agad sila nag anti-body protection para later on sa buhay nila ma-expose sila sa Hepatitis B, meron na silang panlaban,” he said.

[Translation: We are advocating promotion and prevention. How can we prevent it? We should immunize our children for the Hepatitis B vaccine for the first 24 hours after they are born. Why? Because it is essential so that they can form anti-body protection in order for them to have a protection against it if ever they’ll be exposed in the future.] I Allyza Morcozo