Sunday, September 1, 2013

HIV-AIDS cases in Central Luzon on the rise


MALOLOS CITY—Twelve new cases of Human immunodeficiency virus infection / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) were recorded in Central Luzon in the first five months of the year.

As this developed, the Department of Health (DOH) in coordination with Provincial Health Offices (PHOs) in the region are doubling their efforts the curb the incidence and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

Dr. Rhodora Cruz, head of the DOH Center for Health Development in Central Luzon disclosed that 12 new HIV/ADIS cases were reported in Central Luzon from January to May this year.

Citing records from the DOH HIV/AIDS registry, Cruz said that there are 1,075 cases in Central Luzon since 1984.

With regards to Bulacan, she said that there are 343 cases since 1984.

Cruz did not disclose how many of the 12 new cases in the region came from Bulacan.

But she admitted that cases of HIV/AIDS cases in the country is increasing especially from the ranks of call center agents.

As one of the provinces closest to Manila and home to thousands of call center agents, Cruz said that the current number may be lower compared to actual cases as many do not necessarily admit being infected.

“That’s why we need the help of the media to help  curb the infection through awareness,” she said.

For her part, Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, head of the Bulacan Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) said that they are also monitoring infections through shared needles by drug abusers.

She said that based on DOH data, infection through that scheme has risen in the cities in the Visayas and is now also on the rise in Bulacan.

Gomez added that with the on-going threat of spreading HIV-AIDS cases, Bulacan have organized its first HIV/AIDS Council .

She also vowed to keep Bulakenyos informed by issuing regular bulletins on HIV/AIDS in the province along with other communicable diseases.

This includes tubercolosis (TB), malaria, rabies, and Dengue.

Based on DOH data, malaria cases in Bulacan has dropped by 73 percent frpm 89 cases in 2010 to 22 cases last year.

Dengue cases in Bulacan is in decline from 2,281 cases last year to 1,245 this years or 45.41 percent difference.

However, in human rabies casualties, Bulacan lead this region with 14 last year while Tarlac and Nueva Ecija which registered 13 rabies deaths in 2009 and 2010 respective were able to control cases in their turf last year.

In 2012, Tarlac reported five rabies mortality while Nueva Ecija reported only  one.  Dino Balabo

Meet Bulacan's lone water traffic enforcer

HAGONOY, Bulacan—Since the first week of August, Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado is performing an unusual task not specifically mention in his job description.

As the province’s governor, Alvarado served as the one and only water traffic enforcer.

The job is similar to traffic enforcers usually seen on the streets, except for the fact that he is not directing flow of vehicular traffic.

Instead, he has been directing water flow on rivers of the province in an attempt to reduce impacts of flooding in different towns of the Bulacan.

“Nagpatapon na naman ang Bustos Dam kahapon,”he said on the sidelines of distribution of relief goods at Barangay San Sebastian here on Saturday, August 24.

He was referring to 500 cubic meters per second water discharged by the Bustos Dam into already swelling Angat River that drains to Manila Bay..

The governor said that he had to caution operators of the dam to prevent further aggravation of flooding here and in the nearby town of Calumpit.

Both towns has been experiencing inflow of back floods from eastern Central Luzon Provinces like Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac that drains through Pampanga and Angat Rivers to Manila Bay.

Alvarado said that he has been monitoring water levels on Pampanga River and dams in Bulacan.

“Para akong traffic enforcer nito, pag hindi ko pipigilan ang pagpapatapon ng Bustos Dam lalong babahain ang Hagonoy at Calumpit,” he said.

Unlike regular traffic enforcer, the governor is not using a usual whistle to call the attention of a motorist.

Instead,he is usuing his cellular phone in calling operators of Bustos, Ipo and Angat Dams in the province.

He is also using the same cellular phone in getting updates from the Pampanga River Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (PRFFWC) which monitors the Pampanga River Basin.

Alvarado explained that both Pampanga  and Angat River contributes to flooding in Calumpit and Hagonoy towns.

However, he said that proper water management will do the trick in reducing impacts of flood in both towns.

The governor said they have also to monitor the day’s sea level rise before allowing Bustos dam in discharging water into the Angat River.

He said that if Bustos Dam operators became reckless in discharging water early last week, Hagonoy town will suffer from deeper flood because high tide level as at least 4.5 feet on Monday and Tuesday (August 19 and 20).

However, impact of flooding was reduced as Alvarado advised operators at the Bustos Dam to delay discharging higher volume of water into the Angat River that also drains to Manila Bay.

“Kailangan lang talaga ay balansehin ang pagpapadaloy ng tubig, pag pinagsabay-sabay, tiyak na malalim na baha ang ibubunga,” he said. Dino Balabo