As unprecedented flooding continues in Mindanao, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) underscored the urgent need to raise awareness of the increased transmission risks of Waterborne, Influenza, Leptospirosis, and Dengue (WILD) Diseases.
Aside from humanitarian aid, the PRC also intensified the implementation of its health campaign across different PRC chapters in Mindanao.
To shed light on the nature, risks, symptoms, and prevention of WILD Diseases, the PRC Mindanao chapters mobilized the Red Cross 143 (RC143) volunteers to post and distribute brochures and flyers, disseminate information through SMS alerts and texts, and conduct health promotion sessions in Gingoog, Oroquieta, Tangub, Ozamis, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga City, Cagayan de Oro, Agusan del Norte, Surigao Del Sur, and Iligan City.
PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard J. Gordon reiterated the importance of preventive measures in restraining the transmission of WILD Diseases.
“Mataas ang infections risk ng ganitong mga sakit sa mga komunidad na may baha dahil ginagawa itong breeding ground ng mga daga at lamok (The infection risk of these diseases is high in communities that have floods because they make it a breeding ground for rats and mosquitoes),” Gordon said.
“Maaring mapababa ang risk kung patuloy nating tutulungan at bibigyan ng kaalaman ating mga komunidad sa Mindanao sa kung paano maiiwasan ang pagkalat ng Leptospirosis, Dengue at iba pang waterborne diseases (The risk can be reduced if we continue to help and give knowledge to our communities in Mindanao on how to prevent the spread of Leptospirosis, Dengue and other waterborne diseases),” he explained.
PRC’s Health unit and volunteers in Mindanao, he added, will remain alert in conducting health campaigns.
In addition to health campaigns, the PRC Health Services sent Doxycycline, a prophylactic agent used for the treatment of Leptospirosis, to Mindanao.
PRC said 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,” PRC said. “Children and pregnant women, however, cannot take the medication,” it added. As of Jan. 9, the PRC has provided humanitarian aid to communities affected by floods caused by the shear line over the Christmas weekend.
The assistance includes 191,650 liters of clean and safe water through its water tankers and bladders; psychological first aid to 2,714 adults and children; hygiene education to 1,574 people; hygiene kits to 446 families; jerry cans to 355 families, water search and rescue to 201 individuals, including children; sleeping kits to 360 families; non-standard food ration and bread to 138 families; first aid services to 134 persons; and health education and medicines to 87 people.