(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has intensified its health campaign against diseases and infections that may easily be transmitted especially in areas in Mindanao hit by unprecedented flooding.

In a press release on Thursday, PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon emphasized the importance of preventive measures in restraining the transmission of Waterborne, Influenza, Leptospirosis and Dengue (WILD) diseases.

Mataas ang infections risk ng ganitong mga sakit sa mga komunidad na may baha dahil ginagawa itong breeding ground ng mga daga at lamok. Maaring mapababa ang risk kung patuloy nating tutulungan at bibigyan ng kaalaman ating mga komunidad sa Mindanao sa kung paano maiiwasan ang pagkalat ng Leptospirosis, Dengue at iba pang (The infection risk of these diseases is high in communities with floods because they make it a breeding ground for rats and mosquitoes. The risk can be reduced if we continue to help and inform our communities in Mindanao on how to prevent the spread of leptospirosis, dengue and other waterborne diseases),” Gordon said.

He added the various Philippine Red Cross health units as well as all its volunteers in Mindanao have stepped up their health campaign to better inform the residents on how to prevent transmission of infection, and to shed light on the nature, risks, symptoms, and prevention of WILD diseases.

The PRC Mindanao chapters mobilized the Red Cross 143 (RC143) volunteers in the distribution of flyers and brochures, as well as through SMS alerts and texts, and health promotion sessions in the areas of Gingoog, Oroquieta, Tangub, Ozamis, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga City, Cagayan de Oro, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Iligan City.

An individual with open wounds or skin lesions can become infected through direct contact with water, soil, and mud contaminated with infected animal urine. Without immediate and proper treatment, leptospirosis can damage kidneys and cause liver failure.

The PRC Health Services has also sent Doxycycline, a prophylactic agent used for the treatment of leptospirosis, to Mindanao. However, children and pregnant women cannot take the medication.

As of Jan. 9, the PRC has also provided humanitarian aid to communities affected by floods caused by the shear line over the Christmas weekend.

This includes 191,650 liters of clean and safe water through its water tankers and bladders; psychological first aid to 2,714 adults and children; hygiene education to 1,574 people; hygiene kits to 446 families, jerry cans to 355 families, water search and rescue to 201 individuals including children, sleeping kits to 360 families, non-standard food ration and bread to 138 families, first aid services to 134 persons, and health education and medicines to 87 people. (PNA)