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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Red Cross warns against flood-spawned diseases

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HEAVY rainfall brought by the shear line and which flooded several towns in Mindanao on Christmas Day may cause leptospirosis, dengue, and other water-borne diseases, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) warned on Thursday.

With this, the Mindanao Red Cross 143 (RC143) volunteers conducted health activities and campaigns in the affected areas to prevent and manage the risk of these diseases.

The PRC also helped evacuate 193 people trapped by floods in Mindanao.

Likewise, it alerted and mobilized its units to conduct health activities and campaigns to prevent and manage the risk of leptospirosis, dengue and other water-borne diseases.

To shed light on the nature, risk, symptoms, and prevention of leptospirosis, dengue, and other water-borne diseases, the PRC Chapters in the region posted and distributed brochures and flyers, disseminated information through SMS alerts and texts, and conducted health promotion sessions in communities and evacuation centers.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of preventive measures to restrain transmission of these diseases. A flooded area could serve as an effective breeding ground for infected rodents and mosquitoes, and some people have no choice but to wade in floodwaters,” explained PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.

According to Gordon, they are conducting such health campaign “to help our kababayans in Mindanao protect themselves from threats of these preventable diseases.”

In addition to health campaigns, the PRC Health Services sent Doxycycline, a prophylactic agent used for the treatment of Leptospirosis, to Mindanao.

According to the PRC, an individual with open wounds or skin lesions can become infected through direct contact with water, soil, and mud contaminated with infected animal urine.

Without immediate and proper treatment, Leptospirosis can damage kidneys and cause liver failure. Children and pregnant women, however, cannot take the medication.

Meanwhile, the PRC community health announcements included a reminder to practice the 4-S campaign for dengue prevention: Search and destroy breeding places, Secure self-protection, Seek early consultation, and Support fogging/spraying in hotspot areas.

Meanwhile, PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn T. Pang said the foremost humanitarian organization is on full alert and monitoring the further health and medical needs of the affected communities in Mindanao.

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