Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo Duterte highlighted on Thursday, Aug. 4 the need to establish what he described as a “heightened community-based public awareness campaign about monkeypox”.
According to the Mindanao solon, having such information drive on monkeypox will help government achieve several goals.
“Educating our countrymen at this stage will help the DOH (Department of Health) in its public surveillance and prevention efforts. It will also clear up misconceptions about monkeypox that could lead people to become lax in following health protocols,” Duterte said.
Duterte said such misconceptions include reports that monkeypox is only sexually transmitted when the fact is that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have confirmed that the virus can be passed on through close contact with infected individuals, and also through droplets or touching contaminated beddings or towels.
He said that increased vigilance by the public, which can only be done if they have the right information about the disease, will help prevent the spread of monkeypox.
“Educating the public will also help eliminate the stigma that might be associated with monkeypox and encourage people with possible infections to come forward instead of remaining undetected. This will also prevent panic in the event that the virus is detected elsewhere within our borders,” Duterte explained.
Duterte said an effective community-based information campaign will complement the ongoing WHO-recommended surveillance, screening, management, and infection control efforts of the DOH and other government agencies.
Last week, the DOH reported the Philippines’ first imported case of the monkeypox virus in a 31-year-old Filipino who arrived from overseas and had traveled to countries with documented cases of the disease.
The health department has identified 10 close contacts of the infected person. They have been isolated and are closely being monitored.
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