As Severe Tropical Storm Paeng continues to affect several parts of the country, the Department of Health (DOH), through the Centers for Health Development (CHDs), in coordination with regional and local health and disaster response offices, continues to support affected areas through deployment of human resources for health (HRH), provision of emergency and other health commodities, continuous monitoring of healthcare facilities, and augmentation of resources.

In preparation for Paeng, a total of ₱31,063,736.14 worth of drugs and medicines, medical supplies, and other commodities were already prepositioned in different regions, namely Regions I, II, CAR, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, CARAGA, BARMM, and NCR. In addition, a total of ₱72,803,656.64 worth of commodities are ready for mobilization in the DOH Central Office Warehouse.

“Bago pa po mag-landfall and bagyo ay naghanda na ang DOH dahil alam po natin na marami ang maaapektuhan ng bagyong Paeng,” OIC Health Secretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said. “Kaya po milyun-milyong halaga ng resources and other commodities ang atin nang na-preposition sa iba’t ibang CHDs upang mapadali at agad na ma-deploy ang mga ito kung kinakailangan,” she added.

To ensure continued provision of essential healthcare services in affected areas, the DOH deployed HRH to 633 evacuation centers across the country. Deployed HRH are tasked with the conduct of screening and triage of evacuees in evacuation centers, as well as the provision of health, nutrition, medical, psychosocial, and WASH services. Rapid health assessments have also been conducted to assess the condition of affected populations. Likewise, DOH Regional Hospitals have been placed on high alert to prepare for immediate deployment or augmentation, as well as to anticipate possible increases in hospital admissions.

Moreover, all health facilities, including cold chain facilities and equipment, have been placed under close monitoring to ensure continued operations. All Health Emergency Management Teams and Health Emergency Personnel in affected areas have also been deployed to actively monitor, report, and respond to incidents in their respective areas of responsibility.

Meanwhile, the DOH reported that all of its units are on heightened surveillance against possible outbreaks of waterborne and foodborne illnesses, influenza-like illnesses, leptospirosis and dengue (W.I.L.D.) diseases which may occur following the effects of Paeng. Additionally, the DOH has activated the Inter-Agency Committee on Environmental Health (IACEH) is set to convene on November 04, 2022 to discuss ways to address recent Acute Gastroenteritis/Diarrhea Cases and Cholera Outbreaks that may be caused by the onslaught of recent typhoons and floods.

“Sa ating mga kababayan na nangangailangan ng mga serbisyong pangkalusugan ngayong panahon ng bagyo, makakaasa po kayo na mayroon kayong DOH na masasandalan sa inyong mga lugar at evacuation centers. Sa tulong ng ating mga lokal na pamahalaan, we will ensure that health services are unhampered, and that our healthcare facilities are always ready to provide healthcare services to patients seeking care,” the OIC assured.