Prevent ebola from entering ph!
• August 11, 2014
• Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
• Published in Top Stories
ALARMED by the international alert raised against Ebola, the House committee on overseas workers affairs will conduct a congressional hearing tomorrow to ensure that the dreaded disease ravaging parts of Africa will spare Filipinos especially overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). House independent bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin “FM” G. Romualdez said officials of the Department of Health (DoH) should disclose the preparations that are being undertaken to prevent the killer Ebola from affecting the country.
“We would like to know our preparedness when it comes to responding to possible cases of Ebola or those who show signs of the disease especially passengers arriving from international flights,” Romualdez stressed, adding the country cannot risk facing Ebola-related problems given the meager health resources that the government provides.
Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello, who chairs the panel, said his committee invited representatives from the Department of Health (DoH) to help enlighten the people and guarantee public safety.
“The Ebola virus is the first item on the House committee on overseas workers’ affairs’ agenda on Wednesday morning. We’re asking the DoH to testify because this is a very serious matter,” said Bello.
Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan agreed with Romualdez that the government should double its efforts by following international protocols in ensuring public safety from Ebola because of its insufficient funding for health care system, including budget for emergency response situation.
“The government should strictly observe international health protocols mandated by the World Health Organizations. Certainly, we cannot risk having an Ebola epidemic in the country. I have full confidence that the DoH is capable and competent to handle this crisis just like before in the cases of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) epidemics,” Batocabe stressed.
For her part, Ilagan said: “The Philippines, which does not have resources as vast as those in advanced countries can help by ensuring that its own people are safe and protected.”
“Since hundreds of thousands of OFWs are all over the world and most importantly in Ebola stricken countries, protecting these overseas workers is a concrete step. Strict monitoring of homebound OFWs is another contribution to curbing the spread. There is no need to send health workers, they are already abroad. Government should now ensure their safety,” Ilagan stressed.
Last Friday, the WHO declared the killer Ebola epidemic and appealed for global assistance to help afflicted countries.
The declaration came after health authorities from the United States admitted last Thursday that Ebola’s spread beyond West Africa is ”inevitable,” and after medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned that the deadly virus was now “out of control” with more than 60 outbreak hot spots.
Reports said the concern is highest in West African countries neighboring those worst-affected by the outbreak that has killed nearly 1,000 people — Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.