Lawmaker bats for review, enhanced policies vs choleras amid spike in cases

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed a resolution seeking a Senate inquiry into the rise of cholera cases in some parts of the country.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier reported a total of 3,729 cases of cholera since January this year, translating to a 282 percent increase from the number of cases during the same period last year.

At least 33 cholera deaths have so far been reported.

Hence, Estrada said through Senate Resolution No. 266 that “existing policies and programs on sanitation and immunization must be reviewed in order to enhance emergency response mechanisms and preventive measures against the transmission of disease and to promote public health.”

He cited a report from the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC), which says that this type of disease that affects the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of society can be prevented through a multi-sectoral approach, involving methods providing basic water, sanitation, hygiene services, as well as oral cholera vaccines.

 “Higit sa pagtiyak sa mga dahilan, mas matimbang sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon ang pangangailangan na pagrepaso sa mga umiiral na patakaran upang maiwasan at mabawasan ang mabilis na pagkalat nito [cholera],” Estrada said in the resolution’s explanatory note.

(More than looking at the reasons, the need to review the existing policies to prevent and reduce the rapid spread of cholera is currently more important.)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cholera is transmitted through food or drink contaminated with the bacterium vibrio cholerae.

It can cause severe diarrhea in children and adults and cause death if not promptly treated. -Zacarian Sarao/ Inquirer