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Everything You Need to Know on How to Reduce Stomach Acid

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Stomach acid is needed to digest food and allow the body to absorb nutrients. You need a certain level daily, or you can end up with digestive problems and constipation.

However, there are times that your stomach acid causes other problems. You can have too much, causing stomach ulcers and heartburn. Some people must deal with the acid leaving the stomach the wrong way, causing discomfort on the esophagus.

So, you need to find a way to reduce stomach acid. You want to cut the problem of heartburn and stomach ulcers as much as possible. While there are medications to help, you can also help to reduce stomach acid naturally. These tips will help to deal with the symptoms of heartburn at the same time.

Here’s a look at all you need to know about reducing stomach acid.

Start by Limiting Your Meals

When you eat and drink, your body automatically starts producing more stomach acid to deal with what you’re putting into it. It knows that it will need to start digesting at some point, even if you’re just drinking water. Your body doesn’t know exactly what you’re having and will work based on the chewing and swallowing process.

Yes, even if you chew gum regularly, you will start to produce more stomach acid. This can be beneficial if you’re struggling to digest something, but if you have high stomach acid levels or heartburn, you’ll want to keep the chewing to a minimum.

To help to keep the stomach acid production to a minimum, consider reducing the amount that you’re eating and drinking during the day. Keep your meals small, so your stomach doesn’t need to create as much acid to digest it all. Your body also won’t take as long to digest everything that you eat, meaning the acid levels can reduce to normal sooner rather than later.

Smaller meals throughout the day can also be good for weight loss. You constantly keep yourself feeling fuller, since you don’t leave as long between your small meals. At the same time, you keep the calorie intake down, because you’re eating less during and between meals. You’ll hardly feel like you’re on a diet and your heartburn won’t cause a problem that gets you down.

When you are eating, make sure you sit down and give yourself time to chew the food completely. One of the problems that many people have is eating too quickly. You swallow large bites, and that means your stomach must work harder to break everything down. More acid is needed to help with this process. If you made sure each bite was as small as possible when swallowing, the stomach can work less and doesn’t need the acid levels to tackle the food. It passes through the intestines relatively easily.

And we all tend to eat on the go every now and then. We have this need to rush around—because technology makes it easier to do things on the go. Our bosses want everything done yesterday, and that means we constantly feel behind and in a state of playing catch-up. When would we have time to eat if we didn’t eat on the go?

Well, it’s time to make sure you do get the chance to sit down. Use your lunch break effectively by getting outside. Just sit on a park bench to eat your lunch to get you out of the office. Your boss isn’t breathing down your neck to get you to finish up sooner and get back on with work. You can even turn your phone off while you eat to get away from the world.

Think About the Food You Eat

There are certain types of foods that will require more stomach acid than others. This is especially the case with fats and proteins.

While your body needs them, it doesn’t need as much as you would think. To start with, protein is an excellent way to keep you feeling fuller. It breaks down slowly and is used up by the body over the course of a few hours. If you eat too much, your stomach must work harder to break it down, and that means creating more stomach acid.

When eating any type of protein, take a break half way through your meal. Determine if you really need to eat the rest, by listening to your stomach and not what your brain is telling you based on sight. If you’re still hungry, eat a little more and take another break.

The breaks don’t just give your stomach a chance to tell your brain that you’re full. These breaks will give your stomach a chance to break down the food that you’ve eaten. As it breaks down some of it, the stomach creates room for the next amount that you will eat. This allows the stomach acid levels to remain the same.

Fatty food tends to add to the acid in the stomach. When you’ve had heartburn, you’ve likely found that it is made worse by anything fatty, and that includes healthy fats!

If you really want to balance out the stomach acid, you need to find foods that are alkaline based. The great news is that lemon water and cheese are excellent options for acidic levels in the body. They are alkaline based and will work on balancing the levels on the way down to your stomach. They also tend to be cooler, which helps to soothe some of the burns that you experience.

Opt for Some Apple Cider Vinegar Before a Meal

This tends to sound counterproductive. After all, I’ve just said that you need something alkaline to balance the acid, right? Isn’t vinegar acidic?

Well, most vinegar is. Apple cider vinegar isn’t! This is the only alkaline-based vinegar, which means that it will settle the acid levels in your stomach.

Put a teaspoon or two in some water and drink it before you eat a meal. This will help in two ways.

The first is that you’re putting an alkaline formula in you to body. It’s completely naturally and will just help to keep the stomach acid levels to a minimum.

The second benefit is from drinking water before eating a meal. This will help to make you feel fuller since you put something on your stomach. You end up needing less to eat, so your body doesn’t have to break down as much food in one sitting. At the same time, you eat fewer calories because you don’t feel as hungry.

Drinking a glass of water before a meal is a common weight loss trick. Well, now you can add a bit of natural apple cider vinegar to control the stomach acid levels at the same time.

Opt for Green Juices or Smoothies Before a Meal

If you don’t fancy a glass of vinegar before a meal, why not a green juice or smoothie? This is another way to get an alkaline liquid into your body to balance out the stomach acid. You can use any type of green vegetable that you want, but the dark leafy greens tend to be the best.

At the same time, you get all the antioxidants and other nutrients from the leafy greens. Drinking the greens rather than eating them is one of the best ways to get the nutrients. They absorb quicker since there’s no need to digest them as much. Even the juices are good for you since dark leafy greens don’t have that many natural sugars!

Green juices will also help to curb inflammation in the body. Those nutrients have anti-inflammatory powers. You’ll find that your digestive system isn’t as swollen, making it easier to digest everything that you eat. Your stomach doesn’t need to hold food back while your intestines can cope, so the stomach acid doesn’t stick around for as long.

You want to avoid green juices right after a meal. Your body is already starting to digest food, and you will disrupt the process. Drinking it just before is best. This way you also get the same benefit for your weight loss as you would be drinking apple cider vinegar and water.

It is possible to replace some of your meals with green juices. Opt for a green smoothie as your breakfast, packed with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Use milk or yogurt (you can opt for non-dairy alternatives if necessary) to help fill you up, get plenty of calcium, and boost your protein. Try to add some seeds or nuts to the smoothies for extra protein and healthy fats.

Drink a Glass of Milk

If you feel like acid reflux or heartburn is a problem, you will want to tackle the symptoms. While these don’t necessary help to balance out the acid, they can help to line the esophagus and limit the discomfort that you experience. Some of them will help to keep the acid levels down slightly.

Milk is the best option. It’s easy to drink, cold, and will help to line esophagus and stomach quickly. You’ll also get plenty of calcium in your diet by using it.

There’s no fizz to milk, which also helps to keep the heartburn symptoms to a minimum. You can benefit from almond and soya milk if you want, but you’ll need to keep some to a minimum. Unfortunately, soya has been known to cause heartburn in limited cases.

When you don’t want milk, why not opt for some yogurt? You can enjoy it with some non-acidic fruit to help balance out the levels in the stomach or have it on its own. Opt for plain yogurt, as the fruity options will have extra sugars.

If you opt for any type of milk or yogurt, make sure it is low fat. Watch for the sugar levels in these, but you should be fine with most skim milk, almond milk, or Greek yogurt.

Fill Up on Oatmeal

If you’re struggling to eat food because of your acid reflux, it’s time to look at oatmeal. There are many ways that you can enjoy this, so it doesn’t get boring.

The biggest benefit of oatmeal is that it doesn’t cause any acid reflux at all. It doesn’t need as much stomach acid to digest because it’s already soft and gooey. You also get plenty of fiber to help support the digestive system throughout the day.

Oatmeal is something you can enjoy at any time of the day. You can opt for porridge on a morning or make up some oats with fruit and yogurt for a quick lunch. Make sure you still eat it slowly and listen to your body to stop eating if you’re satisfied.

Pull Out the Ginger Tea

Ginger has been used in herbal remedies for centuries. It’s still commonly used to treat ailments and illnesses. This is simply because it really works. You can even keep colds and the flu at bay if you start using it from the very beginning.

While most people will tell you to stay away from heat when suffering from stomach acid problems, ginger tea is allowed. The ginger in the liquid helps to counteract the acid problems and reduces the inflammation in the body. Your whole body will thank you as you feel more relaxed and like yourself again.

If you’re struggling with the heat of the liquid, you can opt for lukewarm tea instead. This is something to try with some lemon and honey to help line the esophagus and balance out the acidic levels.

You Don’t Need Medication to Reduce Stomach Acid

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need medication to reduce stomach acid. This is great for those who want to stay away from pharmaceutical products or can’t take them for whatever reason. The methods above are all suitable for those will low immune systems and pregnant women.

It’s time to pull out the ginger and oatmeal and start changing the way you eat your meals. You’ll soon find that stomach acid is no longer a problem.

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Tiny Pacemakers Could Be Game Changers for Heart Patients

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Image source: medicalxpress.com

Tiny, new pacemakers are making headway around the world. One type, the Micra, is keeping 15,000 people’s hearts beating in 40 countries, according to manufacturer Medtronic. One of those people is Mary Lou Trejo, a senior citizen who lives in Ohio.

A healthy heart has its own pacemaker that establishes its rhythm, but people like Trejo need the help of an artificial device.

Trejo comes from a family with a history of heart disease. Her heart skipped beats, and she could feel it going out of rhythm. Trejo wanted to do something to advance heart health, so in 2014, she volunteered to participate in a clinical trial for the Micra pacemaker. The device is 24 millimeters long implanted, one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers.

Traditional pacemakers

Most pacemakers rely on batteries placed under the skin, usually just below the collarbone. Sometimes patients get infections after the surgery or have difficulty healing from the incision.

Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart. There can be problems with the leads as well.

Dr. Ralph Augostini at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center says a tiny pacemaker like the Micra avoids all of these problems.

“The electrodes are part of the can, and therefore it eliminates the lead,” he said. There’s no incision in the chest to become infected and no chance of complications with the leads.

Small and self-contained

Augostini implanted Trejo’s pacemaker in 2014. He threaded the entire device thorough an artery in her leg up to her heart. The pacemaker has small, flexible tines that anchor it into the folds of the heart muscle. Once it’s in place, the doctor gives it a tug to make sure the pacemaker is stable before removing the catheter used to place it in the heart.

The Wexner Medical Center was one of the sites that participated in the Micra clinical trial. Since the Micra received FDA approval in 2016, Medtronic has been training more physicians on the procedure. A company spokesman told VOA that this device is becoming available at other centers across the U.S. and countries throughout the world.

Dr. John Hummell, a cardiologist at the Wexner Medical Center, has studied the effectiveness of this new generation of pacemakers.

“We don’t leave any wires behind and the pacemaker, the battery, the wire is all just a tiny little piece of metal sitting down in the heart,” he said. Medtronic said the results of the clinical trial showed a success rate of 99.6 percent.

Dr. Richard Weachter, with the University of Missouri Health Care, says the leadless pacemakers’ complication rates are about half the rate of traditional pacemakers.

The battery lasts for 14 years and after that, Weachter said, doctors can implant another one in the same chamber of the heart. They can repeat the procedure a third time if needed.

The pacemaker activates only when necessary to keep the heart beating normally. Studies show that the Micra and other leadless pacemakers are safe and effective.

These tiny pacemakers are not right for all patients, but as the technology develops, more people will be able to benefit from the procedure. Four years after her implant, Trejo’s doctors say she is doing fine.

Voice of America

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Top 12 Foods to Avoid in the Morning

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A lot of people believe that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day.” This is true, but of course, all other meals are important too. However, breakfast has a special function – it kick-starts your metabolism. A great breakfast will provide you with the right amount of energy and must also satisfy your hunger. Although people aren’t usually hungry when they wake up in the morning, it’s imperative that they don’t skip this meal. It will help control one’s blood sugar, and it has the potential to help a person start the day off right.

Of course, merely eating breakfast isn’t good enough. People need to choose the right foods to eat in the morning to have enough energy for the rest of the day. Usually, a great breakfast involves protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These can be acquired from whole, unprocessed foods. There are also some foods to avoid in the morning. Some of these foods may surprise you as they are the “common” breakfast options. Here are the top 12 foods to avoid in the morning:

Bagels

Bagel has always been an energy booster for people on the go. It will make one feel full, not wanting to eat for some period. Not all bagels are “unhealthy.” People who want to eat bagels for breakfast should choose those which are made from whole wheat as they offer more beneficial nutrients.

Opting for whole wheat bagels is important because they are a great source of dietary fiber, some protein, and several important minerals. Whole wheat bagels have become an integral part of a nutritious, well-balanced diet.

Breakfast bars (protein or granola)
Don’t depend too much on commercial breakfast bars because, most often than not, these are filled sugars and chemicals. Advertised protein and granola bars are tempting but consuming them as a go-getter for breakfast will most likely make a person hungry even before mid-day. Might as well munch on a real candy bar. When looking at the ingredients on a granola bar, people are surprised at its high levels of sugar, honey, and corn syrup and this does not even include the sugars found in chocolate chips and other flavors. Furthermore, they contain no proteins, and they lack fiber.

People who have early starts every morning, need to change their eating habits, especially if they have been accustomed to breakfast bars that are loaded with unhealthy contents. The breakfast of granola bars shows that a person isn’t on a low-carbohydrate diet. Avoid sugar-loaded bars. Instead, switch to some whole-wheat bread, spread some sugar-free peanut butter on them. That by itself is an easy, healthy breakfast!

Cereals with little or no fiber
Not all cereals are that healthy. Most of them are high in sugar and carbohydrates but lacking in fiber. Such contents may cause the blood sugar to shoot up, then just quickly drop and this would leave one to experience before-noon-moodiness and cravings. A person can prevent such predicaments by choosing cereals with lower sugars and contain some fiber. One can even further raise the fiber content of breakfast by adding some berries, wheat germ, some flaxseeds or even sliced almonds.

Choose breakfast cereals based on their nutrient contents. The health-conscious people always read the box labels to determine their contents. Cereals in boxes are processed products and may contain unhealthy elements like sugars, artificial colorings, with little cereals. These can all contribute to increasing the risk of heart diseases, obesity, and other health issues.

It doesn’t mean that people should totally abstain from cereals, just choose those that have fewer sugars, no additives, made from organic grains and with high-fiber contents. Make breakfast exciting by adding berries, nuts, and seeds to the healthy cereal chosen.

Donuts and muffins

Traditional doughnuts are very popular breakfast items with ingredients that are all to be avoided. They are carb-circles, deep fried in oil and powdered with sugar plus some sprinkles to just add more “insults to injury.” Having them as a special treat is allowable but not as regular breakfast food. But if a person must indulge himself, at least couple the doughnut with some healthy fat or protein, maybe some nuts or a hard-boiled egg.

Muffins may look cute, innocent and appealing. But all these are just a front for muffins are cakes in disguise, packing calories more than one realizes. But if a person has that uncontrollable urge to eat muffins, eat just a half of it and pair it with some protein. Try Greek yogurt, it tastes good and is healthy. To save time on morning rush-hours, make a healthy batch of muffins, store it in the refrigerator and defrost one for breakfast when in a hurry.

Fast food sandwiches and pastries
Don’t be too sold on breakfast sandwiches from drive-thru eateries. Nutrition-wise, these foods may contain proteins, carbs, and some vegetables but often, the meat is greasy and processed, the bread is white, and mostly there is no fiber content. Without the latter, food craving will be happening sooner than a person thinks.

Burgers-on-the-go in the morning should also be avoided. Burger patties are not necessarily unhealthy, but that depends on how they are made. Those without preservatives will do you good. But what goes with the burgers like white bread, mayonnaise, and other additives will do you harm. Not to mention the greasy potatoes chips or French fries or onion rings that go on the side.

Pastries like donuts, Danishes, and Pop-tarts are also not recommended for morning meals. These are made from refined white flour with no whole grains involved. Besides, they contain tons of sugar that will cause your blood sugar to elevate, then crash and will be leaving a person hungrier much sooner.

Find substitutes for these foods for breakfast that are healthier. A simple egg and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread is a filling option. If possible and it is, make the sandwich from home. It isn’t that hard.

Fruit juice
Fruit juices are a popular item for dieters. They will help people lose those extra pounds, and they’re a refresher for hunger pangs. But beware of packed juices available in stores because most of them have been sweetened and they contain less actual juice. The high sugar contents can be risky for type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. Juice alone will not suffice to constitute a meal. Some proteins and healthy fats are essential, even when going on a diet.

People can be more innovative when taking natural fruit juices in the morning. Using a blender, try sneaking in some greens like kale, celery, carrots, and spinach. People are often amazed at how good this will taste. Aside from this drink, one will still need a supplement of some protein and healthy fats. Otherwise, the craving for food will happen early before lunch.

Toast with butter or jam
What people spread on their whole wheat bread should also is alarming. Butter substitutes have proliferated in the market and consumers need be warned that many of these spreadable contain unhealthy compounds like trans fats. This is a synthetic fat that can do much damage like raising bad cholesterol, lowering good cholesterol and increasing the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. Don’t use substitutes. If a person wants butter, sparingly spread the real one on whole wheat slices. Or to make butter more substantial, make a vegetable omelet.

Toast topped with margarine spread seems like an ideal breakfast since it does not contain saturated fats or sugar. That is a misconception on two fronts. First, on the toast. The flour used in making bread is refined and contains very little nutrients and fiber. Because of this property, consuming them will spike the blood sugar levels very quickly. A sudden elevation of this level will lead to feelings of hunger which will make a person eat more for the next meal.

Second, on the margarine. This spread contains trans fats, the worst and most unhealthy type of fat anyone can eat. These fats are created by manufacturers by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils to mimic the appearance of saturated fats. Studies have shown that saturated fats do not cause harm but trans fats will. There are massive amounts of evidence that they are very inflammatory and can increase your risk of heart diseases.

Kids tend to gravitate towards sweet spreads on their bread for their early meal. This isn’t helping either for the health conscious as jams are loaded with sugars. Instead, let them have eggs on their toast, which by the way should be multi-grain bread.

Pancakes and waffles

There are no more temptations about having pancakes and waffles for breakfast. It has become part of the daily morning meal and sadly, our culture. Pancakes and waffles are made with flour, eggs, milk, and sugar. Even though these foods may contain proteins, basically they are made from plain wheat flour which contributes to insulin resistance and obesity.

But that is not the worst of it. When served, both pancakes and waffles are topped with a heavy syrup made from corn. That combination will contribute to a major sugar crash. But people need not veer from the standard. When having pancakes or waffles for breakfast, use the real all-natural maple syrup. It may be more expensive but health-wise, it will be worth it. Greek yogurt can also be added to pancake recipes for an additional dose of protein.

Smoothies from the store
An average individual would rather pick a smoothie than a green juice drink for the obvious reason that a smoothie is sweet. But do consider what goes into a smoothie aside from the sugar load. Some of them even contain ice cream or full-fat milk. When so, the smoothie becomes a misnomer as this concoction should be called a milkshake. To get all the benefits of a good smoothie, make them at home. Use blended fruits and veggies and for protein, some Greek yogurt.

Sweetened, flavored or light yogurt
An ideal breakfast will be some Greek yogurt with fresh fruits. It’s easy to make and super healthy. Make this breakfast at home as the ingredients are readily available at the grocer. Do not buy packed ones in stores as they usually contain preservatives, artificial flavorings, and lots of sugar.

People have different choices of yogurt: light, sweetened or flavored. Light seems to be the best choice but not necessarily. Many packaged yogurts may be low in calorie content but can be high in artificial sweeteners and chemicals. This is true with the flavored kind. Just be consistent health-wise. Choose plain Greek yogurt. They contain protein that will keep a person fuller longer, and there are no sugar additives.

Not all yogurts, by the way, are good. The flavored ones are not recommended because they can pack as much sugar as that Danish cinnamon roll one was smart enough to avoid. Instead, go for the plain low-fat yogurt or even full-fat. Either one has been shown to be good for a healthy diet. In case a person prefers some sweetness, just add honey, maple syrup or fruits.

Uncooked vegetables
There are no doubt veggies are an important part of the diet but sadly, not in the morning. Eating them on an empty stomach may result in stomach pain. Furthermore, the amino acids present in them can lead to flatulence, heartburn, and can even irritate the linings of the stomach. Tomatoes especially should be avoided in the morning. Their high-concentration of tannic acid will increase the stomach acidity which can lead to gastric ulcers.

Processed Meats

Processed meats are the worse and most harmful type of meat. Studies have shown that just 1.8 ounces of processed meat can increase your risk of heart disease by as much as 42%. Eating processed meats should be done on special occasions and in limited portions. Serve them as condiments or appetizers but never the main course. If in case, the urge to indulge is strong, just be sure the other breakfast foods are all made with healthy ingredients.

We all know these processed villains, and they include sausages, hams, bacon, salami, bologna, and more. They all contain nitrates, a chemical that has been linked to colorectal cancer. Next time, at the deli or grocer, check the meat’s labels to be sure that nitrates were not used in its manufacturing. Foods with nitrates should be off your breakfast table. Foods without, enjoy but in moderation.

Final words
How a person starts, his day will depend on what he will have for breakfast. Eating healthy will make anyone feel positive. First, choose foods that will keep the body full until lunchtime, without any cravings in between. Avoid foods that are devoid of nutrients. Juices or some health drink are not sufficient to sustain your morning. Proteins and fats should also be part of the daily breakfast regimen.

Most people consider breakfast being the most important meal of the day. What better way to make it so by eating the right foods. Eating the wrong ones will sabotage the entire day. When one feels hungry way before lunchtime or feels tired and lethargic at midday or eating more than one usually does at lunch, then that person isn’t eating the right foods to start his day.

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Poor Women in Philippines More Susceptible to Sexually Transmitted Diseases—PIDS Study

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Women living in poverty in the Philippines are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV/AIDS than those from rich households. This is according to a recent study released by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).

Using data from the 2008 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey administered by the then National Statistics Office, PIDS Research Fellow Michael Abrigo found that about 41 percent of poor females aged 15 to 24 years are at risk of getting infected with STDs, compared to only 22 percent of females from well-off families.

Abrigo said this can be attributed to the low level of awareness about STDs among poor female young adults in the country. Recent records of the Department of Health show that there are 9,217 listed cases of HIV/AIDS from January to October last year while the total reported cases from January 2010 to May 2017 is at 40,388.

Contrary to claims that mandatory comprehensive sex education in school is likely to lead to earlier sexual initiation and higher rate of sexual activity among young adults, Abrigo’s study showed that implementing sex education programs in schools results to better sexual behaviors. Specifically, it delays sexual initiation, limits sexual activity, and increases the use of condoms among some groups in the population.

Also, the study found that increasing knowledge on HIV/AIDS may rake in substantial savings for the government in the long run.

“Focusing on the poor population by increasing HIV/AIDS knowledge could lead to a decrease in at-risk population by 1.1 percentage points or about 2 to 3 percent. This can translate to an annual total cost savings of about USD 0.5 million (Php 25.35 million) to USD 5.8 million (Php 294.13 million),” Abrigo explained in his paper.

To prevent and minimize the spread of the disease, the author urged government to make sexuality and reproductive health information more accessible in the Philippines especially to the young adult population through social and mainstream media. He also proposed administration’s support to family planning programs under the country’s Reproductive Health Law.

Earlier last year, the Supreme Court lifted the two-year-old temporary restraining order that covered several contraceptive products, following the findings of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declaring these drugs as non-abortifacient.

“The reclassifying of these contraceptives as non-abortive products by the FDA and lifting of the TRO by the Supreme Court are welcome developments in the full implementation of the RH law,” said Abrigo.

www.pids.gov.ph

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DOH Remains on Code Blue for ‘Oplan Mayon’

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Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said the health department remains on Code Blue alert due to “Oplan: Mayon Operations,” and had set up round-the-clock medical stations offering free consultations in every evacuation site.

The DOH on Friday reported its heightened and sustained efforts in assisting nearby communities around Mayon volcano in Albay province as it continues to exhibit seismic unrest, lava fountaining and summit explosions prompting authorities to extend the Danger Zone to 8 kilometers radius.

Earlier, the DOH Central Office ordered a quick release fund of Php5 million to DOH Bicol Region to finance various activities relative to immediate response needs in affected areas and nearby towns.

Meanwhile, a Rapid Health Assessment Team composed of 326 doctors, nurses and midwives has been deployed since January 13 in the several evacuation sites including Camalig, Guinobatan, Daraga, Tabaco City, Sto. Domingo, Malilipot, Legazpi City and Ligao City, Albay.

Presently, a total of 35,436 evacuees are housed in different evacuation centers.

The DOH Bicol Region has allocated funds and still has over Php6 million worth of assorted medicines and commodities in stock at their warehouse, as declared by Bicol Regional Director Dr. Napoleon Arevalo.

Fast lanes are also in place in DOH hospitals particularly Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital and Bicol Medical Center. They are also tasked to augment health workers and adopt evacuation centers to provide medical assistance in case there are emerging health conditions needing medical attention.

“We are advising affected residents in the area to minimize exposure to ash by staying indoors as much as possible, wear protective covers (dust masks, goggles, wet towels etc.) against volcanic ashes, keep doors and windows closed and observe road safety measures” Duque said.

The health chief also added that persons suffering from bronchitis, emphysema or asthma should take extra precaution against exposure to volcanic ash as they are more prone to health problems.

To date, the eruption has now affected a total of 83,533 families or 56 barangays in the affected municipalities/cities. Of these numbers, 17,490 displaced families or 66,442 individuals are currently accommodated in 67 evacuation centers.

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