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Employment News

PGMA Orders DOLE To Employ More Nurses

Date Posted: Oct 21, 2009

Due to the spread of leptospirosis cases caused by the non-stop heavy rains, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered the Department of Labor and Employment to employ more nurses and health workers.


The DOLE will accept more nurses under the Nurses Assigned in Rural Schools (NARS) program implemented by the Department of Health (DOH), Department of education (DepEd), Professional regulation Commission-Board of Nursing and DOLE.

“The Department of Health has been directed by the President to fill more health teams and even to employ additional nurses and health workers under the NARS program to address the problem,” said Press Secretary Cerge Remonde.

Dr. Irma Asuncion, officer-in-charge of the Center for Health Development–Metro Manila, said in an interview that from Sept. 1 to Oct. 13, 368 males and 61 females suspected of having leptospirosis were admitted in San Lazaro Hospital (187 cases), Quirino Memorial Medical Center (114), The Medical City (93), Rizal Medical Center (10), Chinese General Hospital (10), Ospital ng Makati (6), Ospital ng Maynila (4), Our Lady of Lourdes (3), Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center (1), Valenzuela General Hospital (1).

Marikina, the area hardest hit by Ondoy in the NCR, posted the highest number of suspected cases of leptospirosis with 138, followed by Pasig with 83, Quezon City with 44, Manila with 43, Paranaque with 23, Malabon with 17, Caloocan with 13, Valenzuela with 13, Pasay with 12, Taguig with 10, Makati with nine, Mandaluyong with seven, Navotas with five, Muntinlupa with four, Las Pinas with two, Pateros with one, and San Juan with one.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by exposure to the urine of infected animals, usually rats. Its symptoms include fever, muscle pains, redness of the eyes, vomiting, headache, jaundice and difficulty in urinating. Severe cases results in failures of the kidney, liver and brain that may lead to death.

As of October 11, 28 people had died while hundreds of cases of leptospirosis are recorded.

“If you waded in the floods and after two days you experience fever, muscle pains in the thigh and the calf, and reddening of the eyes, please consult a doctor immediately,” Asuncion said.

Secretary to the Cabinet Silvestre Bello III said Duque was excused from the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) to meet with the heads of the local government units affected by leptospirosis.

Asuncion said the DOH is ready to provide local government units with doxycyline, a prophylactic drug against leptospirosis. However, she said the DOH is preparing the necessary measures for the proper distribution of the drugs.

Tayag warned the public not to self-medicate and instead consult a doctor if they suspect they have leptospirosis.

Tayag said outbreaks of leptospirosis have been observed in three Marikina barangays: Malanday with 35 cases, Concepcion with 19, and Tumana with 14 cases.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus announced that some 5,000 new nurses would be deployed in rural public schools in the country before the end of October.

“These new nurses will surely bring us closer to our goal of providing our public schools access to basic health care,” Lapus said.

He said the deployment of the new nurses would help improve the delivery of health and nutrition services in public schools, particularly in depressed areas of the country as well as help attain the department’s goal of making quality education accessible to all Filipinos as provided in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). -

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