Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Disease Program

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Emerging and re-emerging infections (e.g., SARS, meningococcemia, Avian Influenza or bird flu, A (H1N1) virus infection) threaten countries all over the world.

In 2003, SARS affected at least 30 countries with most of the countries from Asia. In response to its sudden and unexpected emergence, quarantine and isolation measures and rapid contract tracing were carried out. The Philippines was able to minimize the impact of SARS through effective information dissemination, risk communication, and efficient conduct of measures.

The unexpected and unusual increase in cases of meningococcal disease (meningococcemia as the predominant form) in the Cordillera Autonomous Region resulted to at least 50% of cases in the early stage of occurrence.

In 2009, the influenza A (H1N1) virus infection led to global epidemic, or most popularly known as pandemic. On June 11, 2009, a full pandemic alert was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO).

However, some local health offices from many provinces were not able to respond effectively and rapidly. With the lack of strong linkages and coordinating mechanisms, the Department of Health (DOH) hopes to further improve the functionality and effectiveness of local response systems. 

Efforts to prepare for emerging infections with potential for causing high morbidity and mortality are being done by the program. Applicable prevention and control measures are being integrated while the existing systems and organizational structures are further strengthened.

 

Goal:     Prevention and control of emerging and re-emerging infectious disease from becoming public  health problems.

 

Objectives:

The program aims to:

1.  Reduce public health impact of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases; and

2.  Strengthen surveillance, preparedness, and response to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

 

Program Strategies:

The DOH, in collaboration with its partner organizations/agencies, employs the key strategies:

1. Development of systems, policies, standards, and guidelines for preparedness and response to emerging diseases;

2.  Technical Assistance or Technical Collaboration;

3.  Advocacy/Information dissemination;

4.  Intersectoral collaborations;

5. Capability building for management, prevention and control of emerging and re-emerging diseases that may pose epidemic/pandemic threat; and

6.  Logistical support for drugs and vaccines for meningococcemia and anti-viral drugs and vaccine for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness.

 

Partner Organizations/Agencies:

The following organizations/agencies take part in achieving the goal of the program:

  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
  • Department of Education (DepEd)
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • Philippine Health Insurane Corporation (PhilHealth)
  • Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI)

 

Program Manager:

Dr. Lyndon L. Lee Suy

Department of Health-National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (DOH-NCDPC)

Contact Number: 651-78-00 local 2353

Email: donleesuymd@yahoo.com