Asian Bird Flu Alert
'Red Cross on alert'
The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) put all of its chapters nationwide on alert against the possible entry of avian influenza in the country.
PNRC chairman and Sen. Richard Gordon said each chapter must re-activate its "Chapter Core Disseminators" who underwent training on Public Health and Disaster Response and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Gordon also instructed them to produce information materials on avian influenza that would be distributed in schools and community health centers.
"We have to be ready for the imminent threat of pandemic in Southeast Asia related to avian flu. There have been confirmed cases in our neighboring countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
The PNRC has taken preparedness and response efforts to assist the government in its efforts to prep up for the possible advent of bird flu," he noted.
The country's beefed up its preventive efforts against avian influenza with the onset of the migration season for wild birds coming from neighboring countries. It is feared that migratory birds will bring in the virus which has already affected Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Vietnam.
PNRC secretary Vic Liozo claimed that Avian Flu Preventive Education has already been integrated to all Red Cross training courses being offered nationwide.
Aside from these, PNRC volunteers have also been assigned to help in monitoring bird sanctuaries, poultry, pet shops, markets, cockpit arenas and slaughter houses.
"We don't want to be caught off-guard when an outbreak hits us. The PNRC's standard procedure is to predict, plan, prepare, practice, cope, mitigate, rescue, relieve and rehabilitate in each situation," Liozo added.
By Perseus Echeminada, Sheila Crisostomo, Paolo Romero
"RP-made drug vs bird flu sold soon" The Philippine Star 11/05/2005
The Philippine National Red Cross has placed its local affiliates on "ready mode" in anticipation of an avian flu outbreak.
PNRC chair Sen. Richard Gordon has ordered all Red Cross chapters to immediately reactivate and reorient the "chapter core disseminators" who had undergone public health and disaster response training during the SARS scare three years ago.
"We have to be ready for the imminent threat of pandemic in Southeast Asia related to the avian flu," Gordon said in a statement.
The PNRC will start distributing information and education materials about the disease to schools and health centers nationwide.
Avian flu preventive education has already been integrated in all Red Cross training courses, said PNRC secretary Vic Liozo.
By Christian V. Esguerra
"NO PATENT:RP may manufacture medicine vs bird flu
Inquirer News Service November 5, 2005