Food and Waterborne Diseases Prevention and Control Program

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The program covers diseases of a parasitic, fungal, viral, and bacteria in nature, usually acquired through the ingestion of contaminated drinking water or food. The more common of these diseases are bacterial in nature, the most common of which are typhoid fever and cholera. These two organisms had been the cause of major outbreaks in the Philippines in the last two years. Parasitic organisms are also an important factor, among them capillariasis, Heterophydiasis, and paragonimiasis, which are endemic in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Cysticercosis is also a major problem since it has a neurologic component to the illness. The approaches to control and prevention is centered on public health awareness regarding food safety as well as strengthening treatment guidelines.

 

Goal and Objectives:

The program aims to:

1.  Prevent the occurrence of food and waterborne outbreaks through strategic placement of water purification solutions and tablets at the regional level so that the area coordinators could respond in time if the situation warrants;

2.  Procure Intravenous Fluid solutions, venosets and IV cannula for adult and pediatric patients in diarrheal outbreaks and to be stockpiles at the 17 Centers for Health Development (CHD) and the Central Office for emergency response to complement the stocks of HEMS;

3.  Place first line and second line antimicrobial and anti-parasitic medicines such as albendazole and praziquantel at selected CHDs for outbreak mitigation as well as emergency stocks at the DOH warehouse located at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) compound;

4.   Increase public awareness in preventable food-borne illnesses such as capillaria, which is centered on unsafe cultural practices like eating raw aquatic products;

5.   Increase coordination between the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) and Regional epidemiology surveillance Unit (RESU) to adequately respond to outbreaks and provide technical support;

6.   Procure Typhidot-M diagnostic kits for the early detection and treatment of typhoid patients;

7.   Procure Typhoid vaccine and oral cholera vaccine to reduce the number of cases seen after severe flooding;

8.   Provide training to local government unit (LGU) laboratory and allied medical personnel on the Accurate laboratory diagnosis of common parasites and proper culture techniques in the isolation of bacterial food pathogens; and

9.   Provide guidance to field medical personnel with regard to the correct treatment protocols vis-à-vis various parasitic, bacterial, and viral pathogens involved in food and waterborne diseases.

 

Beneficiaries/Target Population:

The Food and Waterborne Disease Control Program targets individuals, families, and communities residing in affected areas nationwide. For parasitic infections, endemic areas are more common.

 

Strategies/Management:

Case monitoring is maintained through the Philippine Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (PIDSR) framework of NEC and the sentinel sites of the RESU. To add to that, quarterly reports of the regional coordinators supplement the data and the regular updating from NEC Outbreak Surveillance.

Outbreaks are being prevented though public education in print and radio stations. The need for safe food and water intake by adequate cooking and boiling of drinking water is inculcated to the public.

Multi-drug resistant cases of typhoid are monitored through reports from the hospital sentinel site and the data from the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine’s Antibiotic Resistance & Surveillance Program.

 

Partner Organizations/Agencies:

The following organizations and agencies take part in the achievement of program objectives:

  • University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH)
  • Department of Agriculture-National Meat Inspection Service (DA-NMIS)
  • Asia Centric Disease Bureau
  • World Health Organization-Western Pacific Regional Office (WHO-WPRO)
  • World Health Organization-Southeast Asia Regional Office (WHO-SEARO)

 

Program Manager:

Dr. Lino Y. Macasaet

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

Contact Number: 651-78-00 local 2353

Email: macasaetmd@yahoo.com