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BakunaTACLOBAN CITY (Gerico Sabalza)– The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to inoculate 80 percent of the target population in the first two weeks of the immunization campaign against measles-rubella and polio in Eastern Visayas.

The month-long vaccination program in the region will start on Feb. 1, covering over 535,000 children between zero and nine-months and below five years old for measles-rubella and oral polio vaccines, respectively.

During a virtual presser Friday, Elaine Villarosa, DOH Eastern Visayas national immunization program manager, said the region is part of the second phase of the nationwide campaign including the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas.

The first phase was in the Mindanao regions and some areas in Luzon, she added.

"The main purpose of the vaccination is to boost the immunity level of our children. We are calling the public especially parents and guardians to support this campaign. We are doing this step to prevent an impending outbreak over an existing pandemic and avoid further injury to the health care system which we are experiencing right now," Villarosa said.

LiverAs the country observes the month-long Liver Cancer and Viral Hepatitis Awareness and Prevention Month, more Filipinos continues to be diagnosed with liver diseases, yet it remains a “silent epidemic.” Unhealthy lifestyle, largely influenced by Western diet and habits, is said to be among the factors leading to the rising numbers, according to experts. The outlook for liver cancer is poor, but the disease is preventable because the major risk factors for the disease have already been identified.

Liver cancer is the fifth most commonly occurring cancer in men and the ninth most commonly occurring cancer in women. There were over 840,000 new cases in 2018. The Philippines ranks 23rd of the Top 25 countries with the highest rates of liver cancer in 2018 according to the Continuous Update Project Panel of World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer. In the Philippines and other underdeveloped countries, however, the incidence of liver cancer is rather high. According to a DOH advisory, it shows that liver cancer is the third most common form of cancer among Filipinos—in men, it is the second most common, while in women, it is the ninth most common.

Liver cancer is relatively common in the Philippines primarily because many Filipinos suffer from cirrhosis of the liver, a major risk factor for liver cancer. Cirrhosis of the liver precedes 80%of all liver cancers; thus, any condition that predisposes to cirrhosis indirectly causes liver cancer. The usual cause of liver cirrhosis among Filipinos is chronic Hepatitis B, a major public health problem in the country. Chronic Hepatitis B afflicts between 10 and 12% of all Filipinos. Other less significant causes of cirrhosis are Hepatitis C infection and alcoholism.

BoronganTACLOBAN CITY – (Gerico Sabalza) Officials and employees of the Borongan City government are required to undergo antigen tests for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) twice every month.

The city health office (CHO) began Friday the swabbing of some personnel for the rapid test but has not yet disclosed the results.

"As per information from the CHO, swabbing is limited to only 50 persons a day following a schedule per department to avoid overcrowding," the city information office said in a social media post.

The mandatory testing complies with Memorandum JIDCA 04-0121 issued by Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda on January 7 to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure that no government work would be affected.

The directive also requires employees with influenza-like symptoms, such as colds, cough, or fever, to immediately report to their respective department heads.

DA ASFTACLOBAN CITY (Sarwell Meniano)– At least 519 hogs were culled in Abuyog, Leyte in the past five days as cases of African swine fever (ASF) spread to nearby towns, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported on Tuesday.

Local authorities started the culling on Jan. 14 after four pigs in Can-aporong village in Abuyog town tested positive for the highly-contagious virus, the first case detected in the Visayas.

“The depopulated hogs were within the 500-meter radius of the first affected areas. This was our immediate action to contain the spread of ASF in Abuyog and nearby towns,” said Francis Rosaroso, DA Eastern Visayas regional information officer.

Culled pigs were from the villages of Can-aporong, San Isidro, Bunga, Canmarating, Buenavista, and Loyonsawang.

Placed under strict surveillance are 38 villages in Abuyog, nine in MacArthur, and three in Javier town, but more areas will be under monitoring as ASF affects more villages outside Abuyog, Rosaroso said.

Meanwhile, the agriculture department announced on Tuesday that results of the confirmatory test conducted on the blood samples taken from five villages from nearby towns of Javier and La Paz in Leyte, tested positive for the ASF virus, as confirmed by the Bureau of Animal Industry’s Animal Disease Diagnosis and Reference Laboratory.

Ormoc CityTACLOBAN CITY (Gerico Sabalza) - Mayor Richard Gomez of Ormoc City is set to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals for the purchase of vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

This after the mayor obtained the authority to sign from the city council during its Friday session, said Joy Meija-Romero, city legal officer, in an announcement posted on the city government's Facebook page.

"A MOA is needed to place the order for the city. Their vaccine is the most competitive (in price) and most suitable to a tropical country," she added.

The city government disclosed that the pharmaceutical company is asking for a 20 percent down payment for the supply of 270,000 doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, which is expected to be delivered in the second half of the year.

The vaccine which would be given in two shots will cover 90 percent of the city's target population aged 18 and above of about 146,542 residents.

DOH8 MASSVaccTACLOBAN CITY (Gerico Sabalza) – Some 535,655 children in Eastern Visayas would be covered in the mass vaccination against measles-rubella and polio in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday. 

The month-long supplemental immunization campaign which starts on Feb. 1, 2021 includes children between zero and nine-months and below five years old for measles-rubella and oral polio vaccines, respectively.

Elaine Villarosa, DOH Eastern Visayas national immunization program manager, said the region is part of the second phase of this nationwide campaign including the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas.
Mindanao regions and some areas in Luzon, she added.

"This kind of immunization is a booster dose to prevent an impending outbreak in the country. As we all know, health care services in communities have decreased since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that resulted in low coverage in our routine immunization for the past months," Villarosa said.