PHL allocates P500-M to fight Ebola

President Benigno S. Aquino III huddles with the heads of delegations for a photo opportunity during the 65th Session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for the Western Pacific at the foyer stairs of the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday (October 13). The Philippines’ hosting of the 65th Session is historically significant considering that after a quarter of a century, another Aquino is addressing the regional committee as President of the Philippines. The meeting will tackle important health issues that include Emergencies and Disasters, Universal Coverage, Antimicrobial Resistance, Tobacco, Mental Health, among others. Also in photo are Health Secretary Enrique Ona, 64th Session of the Regional Committee chairperson Dr. Leao Talalelie Tuitama, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific regional director Dr. Shin Young-soo and WHO Geneva executive director Dr. Ian Smith. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III huddles with the heads of delegations for a photo opportunity during the 65th Session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for the Western Pacific at the foyer stairs of the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday (October 13). The Philippines’ hosting of the 65th Session is historically significant considering that after a quarter of a century, another Aquino is addressing the regional committee as President of the Philippines. The meeting will tackle important health issues that include Emergencies and Disasters, Universal Coverage, Antimicrobial Resistance, Tobacco, Mental Health, among others. Also in photo are Health Secretary Enrique Ona, 64th Session of the Regional Committee chairperson Dr. Leao Talalelie Tuitama, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific regional director Dr. Shin Young-soo and WHO Geneva executive director Dr. Ian Smith. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Department of Health (DOH) is allocating P500 million in the country’s fight against the deadly Ebola virus, Health Secretary Enrique Ona told a Senate hearing Wednesday.

Ona said the budget would be taken from its departmental quick respond fund.

Ona appeared before the committee on health and demography for the hearing of the DOH budget, which was later approved by the Senate.

Ona said the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) would be the primary hospital to handle Ebola cases.

He said the RITM, the leading institution for health in dealing with infectious diseases, would be designated specifically as a treatment center together with the Lung Center of the Philippines and the San Lazaro Hospital.

The health secretary said the RITM has diagnostic test equipment to diagnose suspected Ebola patients and has trained personnel capable to treat and contain Ebola cases.

He mentioned that health experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other foreign experts would come to the Philippines to train local health workers advance the fight against Ebola.

Ona, however, mentioned that public awareness is the key to prevent the entry and spread of the infectious virus.

“Raising awareness of the risk factors of Ebola infection and the protective measure individuals can take is the primary strategy in the prevention and containment of the Ebola virus,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said it has acquired protective suits for its personnel to use in the event a person infected with Ebola enters in the country through Philippine airports. (MNS)

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