DOH 4A on full alert for Taal eruption
By Rachel Joy Gabrido
CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, January 15 (PIA) – The Department of Health Region 4A (DOH 4A) has placed all government health facilities in the region on full alert status following the eruption of Taal volcano in Talisay, Batangas last Sunday afternoon, January 12.
“All health facilities are ready to provide preventive measures on the possible effects caused by the volcanic eruption that may include traumatic injuries, burns, suffocation, skin diseases, eye injuries, respiratory problems, conjunctivitis and even death,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo said after a briefing with provincial health officials and other concerned units of the region.
He said health emergency personnel and provincial health team leaders, as well as mental health teams were being deployed to strategic areas to provide immediate medical and health services to affected residents.
The Regional Director advised residents with health conditions like emphysema, asthma, and bronchitis, among others, who were exposed to ashfall to immediately seek medical attention to avoid further health complications.
Volcanic ashfall is one of the major health hazards caused by volcanic eruption. A person exposed to it may suffer eye, nose and throat irritation, difficulty in breathing, cough, bronchitis-like illness and minor skin problems.
Janairo reminded residents to stay indoors and keep all their windows and doors closed to keep volcanic ashes from penetrating their houses.
“For those in evacuaton centers, follow orders and await for further instructions,” he stressed, persuading them not to leave the evacuation center without any advice from local officials.
He likewise emphasized the importance of getting up-to-date news by listening to the radio.
“Huwag na rin pong lumabas ng bahay, kung kinakailangan naman (Avoid leaving your homes, but if it is really needed), be sure to wear protective mask and eye goggles or shades as protection from eye irritation.”
Meanwhile, the Regional Director appeals to retailers and traders in the region to stop exploiting the situation as reports about overpricing and shortage of the N95 mask have emerged.
“We will be monitoring prices and take stern action against those who will be taking advantage of the situation by unreasonably raising the prices of face asks,” he pronounced.
Finally, Janairo announced that DOH shall be distributing free N95 facemask, as well as eye drops and protection kits to residents of high risk areas in the region. (DOH 4A)