Based on the data surveillance of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau (EB), there were 6,126 cholera cases reported from January 1 to December 10, 2022. Despite this, no local governments have declared an outbreak as cases remained manageable thanks to the close coordination of hospitals and the Health Department in monitoring and treating patients.
“We have many teams on-ground addressing our current cholera cases, while we further strengthen our surveillance and response systems nationwide,” said DOH Secretary Officer-in-Charge Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire. She emphasized that the DOH has been working to urgently improve our systems to lessen the impact of natural disasters on our nation’s health.
Among many other causes brought about by natural calamities in 2022, cases were 287% higher compared to the reported cases during the same period in 2021 (1,584). Most of these cholera cases were reported from Region VIII (3,773), Region XI (810), Region III (355).
Nationally, there were 74 deaths reported (Case Fatality Rate=1.2%). This is higher compared to the case fatality rate of 0.8% in the same period last year. To reduce this number, the Department has been providing the necessary assistance to critical areas to ensure patients have access to treatments and clean drinking water.
As cholera is caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water, a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach is warranted. The Department is in close coordination with concerned agencies through the Inter-Agency Committee on Environmental Health (IACEH).
The Department is continuously improving its strategies in implementing existing programs and activities on water and sanitation in addressing Food and Water Borne Diseases in the Philippines by coordinating and allocating the resources of all IACEH member agencies in improving their water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in accordance with their mandates and continuous promotion of the health of individuals in all settings (including communities, schools and workplaces), to reduce their risk behaviors leading to diarrheal diseases.
In all settings, the DOH, through the Centers for Health Developments (CHDs) and Local Government Units (LGUs) are continuously implementing drinking water quality surveillance programs to ensure drinking water safety from all the way from water source and catchment up to the consumer. In addition to these are sanitation programs to ensure that open defecation practices are eliminated and to ensure proper disposal of feces and sewage waste. Finally, the DOH strongly advocates for safer food preparation and storage especially at the household level to prevent pathogens from reproducing.
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