The COVID-19 vaccination drive in Muntinlupa City kicked off yesterday with the director of Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun) receiving the first dose administered.
OsMun Director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac received Sinovac’s CoronaVac, the first batch of vaccines that arrived in Muntinlupa. Dimatatac said OsMun targets to have 150 health workers to be vaccinated in the city.
The Asian Hospital and Medical Center also commenced their vaccination roll-out having AHMC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jose Acuin as the first to receive the vaccine. In total, the city received 300 doses of Sinovac vaccine for OsMun and 300 for Asian Hospital and Medical Center from the national government.
Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi lauds OsMun for the success of the roll-out and hopes that at least 90% of the medical personnel in the public hospital will be convinced to be vaccinated.
“Right now this (Sinovac) is the best vaccine. And every day that we don’t get vaccinated we run the risk of being infected. So I encourage everyone to at least consider being vaccinated because you’re always exposed to risks. And being vaccinated you are not only protecting yourself but your family as well,” Fresnedi said.
Earlier, Fresnedi expressed his interest in getting vaccinated to boost the confidence of the public. But with the current guidelines from the Department of Health for the available brand, the local exec was advised to wait for the arrival of vaccines suited for senior citizens.
Recently, Muntinlupa City has secured 400,000 doses from British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca through a tripartite agreement with the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF).
Muntinlupa’s COVID-19 vaccination plan and other best practices on public health earn praise from officials of the Department of Health’s Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team.
As of March 2, Muntinlupa has 91 active cases, 5,644 confirmed cases with 5,378 recoveries, 175 reported deaths, 49 suspect cases, and 404 probable cases.
The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.
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In a bid to strengthen the local testing capacity and COVID-19 response efforts, the City Government of Muntinlupa announced it is set to open its own Molecular Laboratory in Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun) which is expected to process one hundred tests per hour.
OsMun director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac reported to Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade the status of the city’s Molecular Laboratory during a virtual meeting of the local COVID-19 Response Team last October 27.
Dimatatac said that the delivery of medical equipment is expected to be finished by the end of this month and the laboratory will be operational next week. He noted that the laboratory can process 100 tests per hour and results may be released as early as six (6) hours. The hospital director noted that they are in close coordination with DOH for the laboratory’s accreditation.
Further, personnel to be assigned in the city’s Molecular Laboratory were already trained by the DOH and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). The laboratory is located at the Saklolo at Gabay ng Ina at Pamilya (SAGIP) building near Ospital ng Muntinlupa in Alabang.
DOTr Sec. Tugade vowed to assist Muntinlupa for the accreditation of the laboratory. Tugade noted that Deputy Chief Implementer against COVID-19 Sec. Vince Dizon committed to donate one RT-PCR machine to Muntinlupa’s Molecular Laboratory once the accreditation is approved by the DOH.
The additional equipment is set to double the laboratory’s capacity from 200 tests to 400 tests per day. Muntinlupa City aims to operate two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines at the laboratory which can process 500 to 900 samples a day.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi says the construction of the Molecular Laboratory will augment the city’s detection-isolation-treatment strategy in curbing COVID-19. He noted that while the City Health Office records improvement with COVID-19 cases, the City Government will not be lenient in implementing health protocols and other programs.
A sharp drop of active cases was recorded in Muntinlupa from 768 cases in September 1 to 69 cases as of October 26. The city’s recovery rate has further improved to 95.25%, an all-time high since the start of the pandemic.
Muntinlupa City also earned the lowest prevalence among Metro Manila cities with a rate of 0.13. The city’s prevalence rate or the number of cases over the total population is below the ‘acceptable rate’ of 1.0.
As of October 26, the doubling time in Muntinlupa City is at 17.94 days. Doubling time refers to the number of days for COVID-19 cases to double in number and the standard rate of transmission should be at 7-30 days to be considered decelerating.
The City Health Office has also launched a mobile swabbing testing in coordination with barangay health centers. As of October 26, the local health office facilitated 19,307 swab tests equivalent to 3.57% of the city’s population. Muntinlupa surpassed the national target of testing two percent of the population.
Recently, the 144-bed quarantine facility “We Heal As One” COVID-19 patients and suspect cases was inaugurated in Pacwood Site, Barangay Tunasan through the efforts of the Department of Public Works and Highways in partnership with the City Government.
DPWH Secetary Mark Villar, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led the blessing ceremony of the emergency quarantine facility amounting to P45-million last October 13. During the program, Villar reported that an additional quarantine facility with 200-bed capacity will be constructed in the Filinvest Tent Parking Area.
Isolation Facility manager Dr. Juancho Bunyi said the We Heal As One Center in Tunasan is accommodating 22 COVID-19 cases (12 positive individuals and 10 probable cases) as of October 27. Occupants of the We Heal As One quarantine facility are given free medicine, food, and hygiene kits.
As of October 27, Muntinlupa City has 4,615 confirmed cases with 4,411 recoveries, 54 active cases, 150 reported deaths, 131 suspect cases, and 290 probable cases.
Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.
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Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced by means of interviewing a top official of the Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.
Barangay Baclaran Youth Council plus Partners at Work (Community Quarantine and COVID-19 Crisis)
With the enhanced community quarantine in effect here in the Philippines as a result of the ongoing corona virus disease (COVID-19) crisis, life is now much different. Most businesses have been halted, people are required to stay at home and others have no choice but to make hard adjustments just as the national authorities work on preventing an outbreak of COVID-19.
When it comes to the authorities of each city, the local government unit (LGU) as well as the barangay units are mandated to govern and manage their respective communities. This includes enforcing curfew, the ban on liquor, traffic management, implementing awareness campaigns about COVID-19 and distributing useful items to the constituents.
According to Baclaran SK chairwoman Rachel Garcia, her team and the KK prepared a total of 3,000 units of alcohol (with free refilling), 3,000 units of hand sanitizer and 2,000 units of soap. Those said items, which are meant for prevention of COVID-19 from spreading, were distributed by the Baclaran SK and the KK around the local community for free. Garcia and her companions endured the heat of the day visiting residents in Barangay Baclaran from one house to another house.
In addition, the group also organized an awareness campaign so that Baclaran residents will know what they can do to avoid infection, how to avoid infecting others and why they should follow the quarantine by staying at home.
Like their counterparts in BF Homes, the Baclaran SK has a tough task and a huge responsibility to fulfill with regards to the COVID-19 crisis. If you think about it very carefully, it’s just mind-boggling that very tiny microbes like COVID-19 could cause a tremendous, negative impact on the whole world. Look at the many people getting infected as well as those who died.
Going back to the publicly elected officials of Barangay Baclaran and its youth council, Garcia and her SK kagawads have more than two years of service left before the next barangay and SK elections will take place. Previously the barangay-SK elections were scheduled to happen this coming May but that all changed when President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act Number 11462 (titled “Postponement of the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections Act”).
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This time it is the City Government of Muntinlupa doing its part to curb dengue cases. Through a press release issued today by their Public Information Office, it was announced that Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi ordered the City Health Office to purchase P10 million worth of spraying materials for fogging activities and space spraying as measures to curb dengue cases in the city.
“The local government will intensify its campaign and strategies against dengue including the 4 o’clock habit which encourages the public to clean, search, and destroy possible mosquito breeding places,” Fresnedi said.
It was mentioned that the Muntinlupa CHO has been coordinating with the city’s nine barangays and public and private schools for the conduct of daily clean-up and information drives on how to prevent dengue.
City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao advised parents to send their children to local health centers upon manifestation of symptoms such as high fever for three or more consecutive days, severe headache, rashes, and among others.
Residents were urged by the City Government to keep their houses and surroundings clean to lower the risk of dengue. The public was reminded to regularly clean and monitor containers than can hold unnecessary stagnant water which may become breeding sites of mosquitoes such as bottle cap, dish dryer, plant axil, gutter, trash can, and old rubber tires.
On August 6, Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque II declared a National Dengue Epidemic in relation to the 146,062 cases recorded (January to July 20) this year here in the Philippines.
Duque revealed that the reported cases are almost 100% higher than compared to the same period in 2018. The total number of deaths recorded this year is now at 622.
The declaration was the result of a full council meeting at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that took place at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
In South Metro Manila, the City Government of Las Piñas responded to the declaration by informing their constituents to be prepared and vigilant of dengue. Mayor Imelda Aguilar and her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery called on all city residents to be careful and strive to clean up their homes and spots of their local areas. The City Government confirmed that all health centers around the city have dengue testing kits and the testing itself will be done for free.
Now that a national dengue crisis has been confirmed, now is the time for people living and working here in the Philippines to find not only the most effective methods to protect themselves from the disease but also to help cure the people already suffering from it.
To put things in perspective, the term dengue refers to both the virus and the fever. Dengue virus is a mosquito-borne, single positive-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus.
Dengue fever is a harsh condition that includes symptoms of high fever, vomiting, pains on the muscle and joints, headache, pain behind the eyes, fatigue and skin rash. The time it takes for a sufferer to recover from it is two to seven days. However, there have been a small number of cases in which dengue fever becomes severe (referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever). The symptoms for severe dengue include low blood platelets, bleeding and blood plasma leakage. There is also dengue shock syndrome which includes low blood pressure.
How to cure dengue? A scientist I met in Makati City told me it was papaya leaf juice.
For the newcomers reading this, the use of papaya leaf juice in treating dengue is not new. Rather it has been used for a long time in some areas of India and Southeast Asia. As dengue continues to spread and affect new victims around the world, it is expected that papaya leaf juice will grow in terms of demand.
To put things perspective, let’s start with the health benefits that papaya leaves carry. The leaf of the papaya contains a large amount of enzymes that include papain and chymopapain. These aid digestion and prevent bloating as well as digestive disorders. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, papaya leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and B while the specific minerals are iron, sodium magnesium, calcium and magnesium. The papaya leaf juice also comes with a compound that help with blood clotting and restricting internal bleeding.
Dr. Sheela Krishnaswamy, a nutritionist based in Bangalore, stated that certain studies “have shown that papaya leaf juice contributes significantly in the production of platelets.”
According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, 30 ml of fresh papaya leaf juice helps in increasing the blood platelet count which is crucial in treating dengue.
A team of chemical engineers in the Food and Pharmaceutical Engineering Group at the university are working on extracting carpaine (a bioactive compound) for use in the form of a pill. Because dengue is a huge health problem as the Aedes mosquito population grows, Associate Professor Dr. Ching Lik Hii (who leads the research at UNMC) got inspired to come up with methods to make the herbal remedy easier to process and consume.
Even as there are skeptics about papaya leaf juice as a cure for dengue, the confirmed results so far showed signs of effectiveness on the blood platelet count which itself is an important indicator on the patient’s health status while suffering dengue fever. In addition, papaya leaves
For the meantime, it would be helpful to convince local authorities (especially those who work in health and in government) to at least take a look at research of papaya leaf juice as an option for curing dengue. It is also timely right now that we should examine our nation’s harvest of the papaya trees with stronger focus on growing the leaves.
Do you see a papaya tree near you? Do NOT burn it and do NOT cut it down. Its leaves can be crucial to helping your nation deal with the ongoing dengue crisis. If you know someone who is suffering from dengue fever, then it is crucial to buy many papaya leaves and convert them into liquid form for drinking!
As the Philippines has a dengue crisis to deal, now is the time to contact your barangay (community government) officials, the city government officials, the provincial government officials (for those living in the provinces), the members of the House of Representatives and the Senators to encourage them to explore (if not utilize) papaya leaf juice as an option to treat dengue sufferers.
Las Piñas City Government signs deal with Perpetual Help Medical Center for Green Card program
Las Piñas City hospitalization through the Green Card Program could now be availed at the Perpetual Help Medical Center of Las Piñas according Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar and Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery.
The Perpetual Help Medical Center-Las Piñas is the latest medical facility to accredit the Green Card Program of the City Government, in addition to Las Piñas Doctor’s Hospital, San Juan de Dios Hospital, Philippine General Hospital, and Las Piñas City Medical Center.
“We are happy to announce that we have another partner in providing hospitalization benefits to our Las Piñeros, the Perpetual Help Medical Center, as we continue to explore ways to deliver enhanced service to our kababayans,” Mayor Aguilar said.
Green Card holders among the city residents could avail of the free hospitalization services worth P30,000 per patient who would be confined at any of the accredited hospitals.
The Green Card is the hospitalization support program managed by the Mayor’s Office, City Health Office, and City Social Welfare and Development Office. It has now around 200,000 Green Card holders.
The free hospitalization program was initiated by former Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar in 2000 with about 10,000 Green Card holders, including city hall employees, which was accredited at Las Piñas Doctor’s Hospital and San Juan De Dios Hospital. The number of household beneficiaries has been expanded and in nearly 20 years the program signed up with five accredited hospitals to cater to the medical needs of the Las Piñeros.
For details about the City Government’s Green Card program, click here.
130 Patients Served With Free Services in BF Homes Medical Mission
A medical mission titledCare to Sharewas held from 6AM to 3PM on April 27, 2019 at the Don Tomas Aguirre Senior Citizens Center along F. Cabarrus street, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City which attracted a total of one hundred and thirty patients.
A joint project of the BF Parañaque Entrepreneurs & Business Club, Inc. (BFPE&BCI) and services provider MedTek with the participation of the Senior Citizens Association of Barangay BF, Inc. (SCABBI), Care to Share saw 112 patients avail of laboratory testing (which includes blood extraction), 90 patients who had their urine checked, 75 patients who had a medical check-up (with medicine given afterwards) and 42 patients who had their eyes checked (with eyeglasses provided afterwards).
All the services were rendered for free. Apart from the members of SCABBI, there were other people from the local community who just walked in and were happily accepted by the organizers to avail of the services.
Services aside, the patients were given free meals, drinks and snacks provided by varied sponsors of the medical mission. The meals were provided by MedTek, BFPE&BCI, Mama Lou’s, Little Quiapo, Ms. Julie Dacanay and Flaming Wings (through a concerned senior citizen who expressed his generosity for the local community). As if that was not enough, brand new electric fans were raffled off to some very lucky winners among the patients which lifted up their spirits. A “Sorbetero” was contracted for the day by BFPE&BCI to provide ice cream to everyone.
Not only that, the patients were fortunate to meet Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez who took time out from his busy schedule to observe the medical mission.
“The medical mission is an endeavor of MedTek and BFPE&BCI proving their corporate social responsibility to our constituents. Of course, we in the barangay support them and we appreciate any endeavors that they plan to do in the future,” Marquez said in my interview with him.
For his part, SCABBI president Elpidio Padama stated that the number of patients exceeded the mark of 100 because of other senior citizens who made referrals. Several directors of SCABBI were present and were thankful to the organizers that many of their members got served for free.
Already a successful event, Care to Share undeniably gave back to the local community in Barangay BF Homes in partnership with MedTek headed by its President Mr. Seling Catral and BFPE&BCI. The business club, led by its incumbent President Don Munoz (Pergola Mall, Noah’s Place), truly made its presence felt as a highly credible and generous business association focused on the BF Homes communities.