‘No fake meds can enter CEH’

ROXAS City — The administration of the Capiz Emmanuel Hospital (CEH) yesterday assured residents of the province that fake medicines cannot penetrate the hospital pharmacy because they are exercising strict measures as regards quality control.

This came in the light of recent reports on the proliferation of fake medicines throughout the country.

Fake medicines "cannot penetrate the hospital since we have our therapeutic committee to meticulously exercise quality control," according to Jessie Contreras, CEH administrator.

"We have instituted measures to see to it that our patients get only quality medicines from our hospital," said Contreras, also the executive vice president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines.

CEH is one of the leading hospitals in Western Visayas.

It has over 100 years of experience as one of the early hospitals founded in the region by American Protestant Missionaries.

Earlier, the Samahan Laban sa Pekeng Gamot (Samahan), a coalition of doctors, pharmacists, drug regulators and distributors, warned that based on figures obtained from the Department of Health (DOH), 10 percent or one in every 10 medicines in the Philippines is fake.

The international sources of fake medicines are from China, India and Pakistan, Samahan said.

On the other hand, local sources are in Manila, Cebu, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon, it said.

Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag, Samahan spokesman and chair of the Cosmetics Committee of the Philippine Medical Association, said to detect counterfeits, consumers should do the following:

* check the label on the medicine and on the packaging

* check the color and the texture, and

* if possible, check the taste of the medicine.

"Beware also if the packaging is different and if the price is significantly or unusually low," said Calimag.
She pointed out that it is equally critical to buy only from Food and Drugs Administration-listed pharmacy.

"Source is important. As doctors, we do our diagnosis and we depend on medicines to work," she said.

Fake medicines are hazardous to health because they "are neither tested nor approved, may contain toxic, unlisted and substandard ingredients.PN


FCU produces most RNs in Capiz – prexy

ROXAS City — For three years in a row, the Filamer Christian University (FCU) College of Nursing has produced the most number of registered nurses in Capiz, according to President Expedito Señeres.

Señeres downplayed information spreading through text messages several months ago that the university's College of Nursing would close due to poor passing percentages.

Figures showed that in 2007, 224 Filamer graduates passed the Nurse Licensure Examination, 281 in 2008 and 205 last year, Señeres said.

"These figures show that Capiceños and people in nearby provinces chose Filamer for their children’s nursing education," said Señeres.

Information gathered through interviews with parents from different municipalities in Capiz revealed the three main reasons why parents choose to send their children to Filamer — affordability and competitive cost of education, reputation of good passing percentage and endorsement of relatives who graduated from Filamer and now working as nurses here and abroad, the president cited.

"Filamer’s passing percentages, especially for first takers, have always been higher than the national passing rate," Señeres pointed out.

"And it is only Filamer’s nursing program that is accredited Level II in the province (of Capiz)," he said.
Accreditation in education means "a mark of quality," Señeres stressed.

"For a program to be accredited, it should comply with the standards and requirements that are over and above what the Commission on Higher Education prescribes," he said.

Furthermore, Señeres said the Filamer administration makes sure that the needed facilities and amenities that will enhance learning among students are provided.

Filamer wants that quality instruction be sustained by sending and supporting clinical instructors (CIs) for their graduate studies, he said.

This year, out of the 42 CIs, two have a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree; two have a Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN) degree with Ph.D. units; 11 with MAN degrees; nine are MAN candidates, or those still writing their thesis; and 18 are still taking their MAN.

The superiority of nursing students enrolled in FCU is the availability of the Capiz Emmanuel Hospital (CEH) for their hospital exposure, he said.

According to Administrator Jessie Contreras, CEH is now a certifying hospital for nurses who wish to work abroad.

"Foreign employers oftentimes call me personally by phone to validate information contained in the documents submitted by these nurse applicants," said Contreras./PN

2nd filariasis mass treatment underway

ROXAS City — A second round of mass drug administration (MDA) on filariasis is underway in the province as part of the province-wide campaign to eliminate the disease.

The MDA for filariasis was launched by the Provincial Health Office in November last year in support to Executive Order (EO) No. 369.

The EO declared November as mass treatment period for filariasis in established endemic areas.

The Department of Health (DOH) has declared the province last year as the 41st endemic province in the country.

"Round two of MDA will continue until about 85 percent of Capiceños have been reached," said Medical Specialist IV Evelyn T. Bolido of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO).

The PHO will monitor the progress of MDA that will be carried out in the province until 2013, she said.

In November 2008, the DOH and provincial health authorities conducted a selective treatment of 41 filariasis victims from the various barangays in Tapaz town.

The treatment was among the succeeding actions following the first-ever documented filariasis cases in the province during a September 2008 survey.

A province-wide random deformity survey was also taken by the PHO in coordination with the RHUs to identify and document possible filariasis cases in other towns.

Filariasis is a disease caused by worms transmitted to humans through bites of infected female mosquitoes.

It may manifest as recurrent fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and urine with color similar to rice washing.
Provincial health authorities said the disease can lead to enlargement of the thigh, leg, breast or scrotum if remains untreated.

Taking medicines will stop the progression of the disease and prevent its transmission to others. (A. Lumaque/PIA/PN)