The Department of Health (DOH) maintained on Friday its position of giving priority in enhancing the defense of the country against the possible entry of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), instead of deploying health workers to West Africa to help in the fight against the disease there.
“As of the moment, we are not sending health workers to the Ebola-affected countries, but we are not closing the possibility. However, we still want to enhance first the capability of our country in terms of responding and handling of Ebola cases, if ever,” DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy said in a joint press briefing with the World Health Organization (WHO) at the DOH Media Relations Unit (MRU) in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Dr. Lee Suy explained that right now, the DOH wants to primarily increase the capacity of the health workers nationwide in responding to EVD like what they did in SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and birds flu that threatened the country a few years ago.
In the same press briefing, Dr. Lee Suy noted that there are other ways the government can provide assistance to the West African countries where Ebola has affected more than 8,000 people and killed at least 4,000.
“It can probably be in kind or in cash,” the DOH spokesperson said.
It may be recalled that a global call for sending of humanitarian assistance was addressed to the Philippine government and the DOH had stated earlier that it was studying the pros and cons of a possible deployment, like health concerns in terms of the safety and security of the health workers that will be deployed. PNA