Issue of August 7, 2016
Mt. Province

66th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Makeshift tents set up in BeGH to cater to dengue patients
by Ofelia C. Empian

DENGUE FAST LANE -- Due to overcrowding of hospitals in Baguio and La Trinidad, Benguet, makeshift tents were set up by the provincial government of Benguet and Philippine Red Cross-Benguet at the Benguet General Hospital covered court to provide basic health care services to dengue patients. More than 4,600 patients were hospitalized since the start of the year while 13 died due to the dreaded disease. -- Ofelia Empian/Redjie Cawis


To assist dengue patients and prevent them from being sent home, the Provincial Government of Benguet in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross-Benguet chapter recently set up basic health care unit service facilities in the Benguet General Hospital covered court.

Three makeshift tents were set up, containing fully functioning health facilities and manned by trained personnel from the PRC-Benguet and BeGH.

The effort is seen to aid the local hospital whose bed capacity can no longer accommodate dengue patients due to the increasing number of dengue cases, which has put La Trinidad to a yellow alert status. 

PRC-Benguet president Oscar Paris said the health care facility has an Emergency Room and Out-Patient Department fast lane with 10 to 12 bed capacity. He said in this area patients are being hydrated and observed for possible admission in the hospital or discharge.

Also, it contains the Rub Hall, which serves as the ward with a 30-bed capacity unit and is expandable to accommodate up to 60 beds.

Another tent is purposely installed for supplies and accommodation of unit personnel, but Paris said in cases of sudden influx of patients, it would be converted into a ward that could accommodate 10 to 12 patients more.

Paris said the facility, with the aid of the Canadian Red Cross, would function as an area for observation and to tend to the basic needs of dengue patients.

“The basic health care unit does not function as a hospital but has 10 to 30 bed capacity for observation and basic curative management for our patients. In case of influx of patients, other tents are on standby here. Our manpower is also on standby to augment the needs of the hospital,” said Paris.

Patients will still comply with the existing fees required by the hospital.

The basic health care facility would serve as an augmentation to BeGH’s maximum bed capacity of 150 patients. BeGH not only caters to patients from Benguet but also patients from neighboring provinces.

According to records from BeGH from January to July 31 this year, 1,526 out-patient dengue cases and 1,426 emergency room walk-ins were recorded, compared to 135 and 155 cases, respectively, logged in the same period in 2015.

Also, 580 patients were already admitted in the first seven months, almost six-folds higher compared to only 99 in the previous year.

Provincial Health Officer Nora Ruiz said from Jan. 1 to Aug. 1, there are 2,474 dengue-related cases logged in Benguet compared to 544 cases recorded in the same months in 2015.

Paris urged the community to conduct continuous cleaning of their environment to prevent dengue-related illnesses.

Dengue hotlines of PRC-Benguet were made available via 423-0315 or contact 422-2796 (PRC-Benguet) for emergency-related cases.

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