Diseases outbreaks feared during El Nino

March 28, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 150 views

A veteran solon warned the public of possible spread of diseases during the El Nino season.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, said this is a major reason why the Senate should speed up the passage of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bill.

And while waiting for the final approval of the measure, Salceda has urged the Department of Health to beef up its contingencies to respond to diseases typically accompanying a hot season, such as cholera, Chikungunya, and Zika virus, and even the COVID-19.

“Tropical diseases can be particularly problematic. Global studies indicate a spike of between 2.5 percent to 28 percent in cases during El Nino activities. El Nino is a hotbed for epidemics – climate is warmer than usual, and people have less water available,” Salceda said.

“So, we should be working on adaptations such as mandating LGUs to clean up, hospitals to probabilistically allocate resources among probably tropical diseases, and the DOH to do the coordination work and provide close guidance,” he added.

The solon expressed hopes that the Senate can approve the charter of the Center for Disease Control bill when session resumes on May 8.

“The CDC would definitely add institutional muscle to our preparations, especially since El Nino could persist until 2024,” he said.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has certified as urgent the CDC bill.

Once approved, the target of the Congress is to send it to Marcos for his signature before the second State of the Nation Address in July.