IT is usually in troubled times, like man-made and natural disasters, that the people, notably the poor, want the government and the private sector to work in unison to help affected residents.
Thus, it is not surprising that the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has heightened its nationwide information dissemination drive to safeguard the community from being infected with leptospirosis.
The Department of Health (DoH), headed by Secretary Francisco Duque III of Pangasinan, had earlier declared a leptospirosis outbreak in the heavily-populated Metropolitan Manila.
The DoH declared outbreaks in some barangays in the cities of Quezon, Taguig, Pasig, Parañaque, Navotas, Mandaluyong, Malabon and Caloocan after these villages hit the five-year average of cases for MM.
A common health concern during the rainy season, leptospirosis is contracted through exposure to floodwaters contaminated with the urine of rats and other animals infected by the Leptospira bacteria.
Infection may result in fever, headache, muscle pain, reddish eyes, and more severe cases such as liver and kidney failure and body discoloration.
Senator Richard “Dick” J. Gordon expressed PRC’s readiness to provide medical assistance should the number of leptospirosis cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) continue to increase.
A lawyer from Olongapo City and one of the youngest members of the “1971 Constitutional Convention,” the highly-articulate Gordon is chairman of the Philippine Red Cross.
Gordon said the PRC is closely coordinating with its partner hospitals in Metropolitan Manila to augment medical provisions.
“Our chapters nationwide are also on the ground to distribute information, education, and communication materials that contain necessary information on how to protect families from the infection,” he said.
Staff and volunteers in PRC’s 104 chapters nationwide conduct health assembly, home visitation, and health campaigns in coordination with local health authorities, according to Senator Gordon.
Without doubt, the PRC, through its still growing army of dedicated volunteers, is doing a great job in helping the government in preventing the spread of the dreaded disease to other areas.