SAN FERNANDO CITY (PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH) partners with the Department of Education (DepEd) to strengthen preventive measures against hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).
Medical Officer IV Rheuel Bobis of the DOH Center for Health Development 1 confirmed this since higher HMFD cases are being recorded in Region 1 this year which mostly affects children in the elementary and pre-school.
Based on the data of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit presented during the Health Cluster Meeting held on Tuesday, some 2,283 cases of HMFD were logged in the region as of Dec.17, of which 1,278 were noted in La Union; 779 in Pangasinan; 188 in Ilocos Norte; and 38 in Ilocos Sur.
Of the cases, the youngest patient with HMFD is a one-month-old baby while the oldest infected is 61 years old.
Some 54.2 percent or 1,238 of the HFMD cases belong to the age group of one to four years old. More males were infected than females.
Bobis also noted that there is a clustering of cases monitored in parts of the provinces of Ilocos Norte, La Union, and Pangasinan, as well as in some schools in the region.
“Kaya naman nakikipag-ugnayan na tayo sa DepEd para mas mapaigting pa yung pagpapalaganap natin ng mga preventive mechanisms gaya na lamang nang pag-practice ng minimum public health protocols lalo na sa mga bata,” Bobis said.
Information and education campaigns on proper hand-washing, and distribution of alcohol, facemasks, and soaps are being conducted across campuses.
“Isang challenge talaga na maturuan ang mga bata na sumunod sa health protocols pero napakahalaga at napaka-epektibo ng sanitation para maiwasan ang HFMD,” he stated.
Further, DOH CHD-1 remains steadfast on the monitoring and surveillance of cases. (JCR/MJTAB/CGC, PIA Region 1)