Issue of November 3, 2019
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Health workers trained on mgmt. of infectious diseases
by Christian Tubadeza

BANGUED, Abra – The Provincial Health Office and the Department of Health-Cordillera conducted training on specimen collection, storage, handling, and transport during infectious disease outbreak for health workers in the province.

Medical technologists from public and private hospitals and health workers from rural health units (RHUs) were oriented on the proper collection of emerging diseases samples such as measles, dengue, leptospirosis, AH1N1 virus, and Japanese encephalitis starting from extraction, packaging, documentation, to transportation.

Epidemiology surveillance nurse Leila Bernal said RHUs play an important role in the collection and submission of samples to be forwarded to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

“We need our partner local government units to properly and safely ensure sample collection so that healthy people in the community will not be infected by improper transport and packaging of samples,” Bernal said.

The three-day training was dedicated to the topic of bio-safety and bio-security to make sure that field health workers are equipped with skills on the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab collection, which are highly effective for testing respiratory diseases, as well as the proper packaging and labeling of samples.

DOH-Cordillera Surveillance and Response Officer Cristina Mae Dumpit outlined the relevance of quality samples coming from RHUs.

“We need to train our health workers on this, otherwise RITM will still be receiving samples that contain the wrong specimens, significantly decreasing our chances of verifying the outbreaks,” she said.

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