Probe of cholera outbreak in several Philipine regions sought


A SENATOR has filed a resolution seeking to probe, in aid of legislation, the cholera outbreak in several Philippine regions. 

Cholera cases have almost quadrupled to 3,729 in January to October from a year earlier, Senator Jose “Jinggoy” E. Estrada said, citing the Department of Health (DoH).

“At least 33 individuals have already died from the disease this year and children aged five to nine were most affected by cholera,” he said in the explanatory note of Senate Resolution 266 filed Nov. 2.

“More than ascertaining the whys and the wherefores, the situation strongly calls for a review of existing policies to prevent and mitigate the outbreak of the disease.”

Central Luzon, Western and Eastern Visayas have surpassed the epidemic threshold levels for cholera in the past 10 months, according to the Health department.

Cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that causes severe diarrhea. It spreads by ingesting unsafe water and food contaminated with human feces containing the bacteria.

“There is a need to protect the population, especially the children and underprivileged, against this debilitating yet preventable illness through a coordinated approach among government agencies,” Mr. Estrada said.

“The existing policies and programs on sanitation and immunization must be reviewed in order to enhance emergency response mechanisms and preventive measures against the transmission of the disease and to promote public health,” he added.

The senator cited a report from the Global Task Force on Cholera Control that showed that deaths from cholera could be avoided by providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene services, as well as oral cholera vaccines. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan