DOH notes increase of food, water-borne diseases

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013


HEALTH officials have noted an increasing number of food and water-borne diseases such as diarrhea and hepatitis.

Department of Health (DOH)-Cordillera epidemiological and surveillance unit reported a 38 percent increase of acute bloody diarrhea among the region’s residents, particularly in Baguio city.

Some 1,430 cases of acute bloody diarrhea were recorded from January 1 to June 29 this year compared to 1,032 cases of diarrhea in 2012.

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Hepatitis cases also increased by as much as 79 percent, with 68 cases recorded in the first six months of 2013 compared to only 38 cases in 2012.

DOH Assistant Regional Director Dr. Amelita Pangilinan said they call on local government units (LGUs) to implement sanitation ordinances and existing laws on food handling to prevent increases in food and water borne diseases.

She said street foods patron are among those usually affected by food- and water-borne diseases due to unsanitary food handling and preparation practices of street vendors.

She said LGUs must implement existing ordinances to ensure proper food handling to vendors and food handlers in eateries and restaurants.

The health official said proper hand washing and hygienic food preparation methods are important in reducing food contamination which also usually results in the sudden increase of diarrhea and hepatitis cases.

In the city, she said the sanitation department of the Baguio City Health Services Office has been aggressive in implementing the issuance of sanitation permits and conducts regular training of food handlers to ensure the safety of food sold in school canteens and nearby eateries.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 09, 2013.

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