As the preparations for All Saints' Day are starting, the Department of Health (DOH) advised the public who will be bringing their own food and water to avoid diarrhea, or even food poisoning.
DOH also reminded local government units (LGUs) and ambulant vendors to ensure food safety through proper preparation and sanitation when selling food.
"Food-borne illnesses are usually caused by food produced for mass catering which were not cooked, stored, or handled properly. Establishments that prepare, serve, and distribute food for mass catering should guarantee the safety of the food for prevention of food borne illnesses and outbreaks," Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial explained.
Secretary Ubial also appealed to transport owners to deploy more buses to bring people to provinces and avoid overcrowding and overloading of passengers, which oftentimes are causes of accidents. She added that commuters should also plan their trips, bring water to avoid dehydration, and be more patient as there will be more passengers going to the province to pay their respects to their dearly departed loved ones.
"It would be better not to bring along babies and small children to cemeteries/memorial parks as they are vulnerable to contracting diseases due to their low resistance to infection, heat, and congestion. The elderly are advised to stay at home especially if they have medical conditions or are visiting alone," Secretary Ubial added.
DOH also advised communities to include Search and Destroy of mosquito breeding sites in their preparation for All Saints' Day. Insect repellants should be used to avoid mosquito bites. The public is also advised to bring umbrellas for protection from the rain or too much sun. People visiting cemeteries should beware of animal bites. Medical services are available for first aid treatment by health volunteers.
Meanwhile, DOH discloses that all DOH-retained hospitals and regional offices nationwide was already on Code White Alert since October 30 until November 2 in preparation for any eventualities or health-related incidents that may occur during the country's observance of All Saints' Day.
"A Code White Alert is declared when there is a mass gathering or national event and there is a possibility of emergency conditions that may need immediate medical attention. All medical teams are on standby for immediate mobilization," Secretary Ubial said.
The health chief further explained that Code White Alert, which is based on Administrative Order No. 2008-0024, also refers to the readiness of hospital manpower like general and orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, and nurses, to respond to any emergency situation.
The DOH Health Emergency Management Bureau operations center will continuously monitor any health-related event that may occur during the weekend holiday 24/7. The DOH is also working closely with other agencies such as Bureau of Fire Protection, Metro Manila Development Authority, and local government health units for a coordinated health emergency response.
"All Saints' Day is a tradition among us Filipinos to remember our departed loved ones and to spend time with our family. Let us observe this safely and free from illnesses." Secretary Ubial concluded.
DOH Hotlines are established 24/7 where calls may be made by our citizens who may need assistance. They may be reached thru (02) 711-1001 or (02) 711-1002.
Source: Philippine Information Agency