The first National Summit on Zika Virus, with the theme “One Philippines against Zika” is being held today October 28, 2016 at the Conrad Hotel. The Research Institute for Tropical Medicines, Department of Health hopes that this summit serves as a venue to disseminate and discuss the DOH Zika Action Plan to participants coming from the different sectors all over the country, such as government, private sector, academe, business, medical community, international partners and civil society.

The Summit gathers international and local experts who will provide updates on the global and Philippine situation including the Iloilo experience. Issues on case detection and reporting,including challenges in laboratory testing and mosquito control, are likewise presented. Various stakeholders and partners share their respective action in the National Zika Action Plan. The summit culminates with a pledge of commitment to galvanize a unified effort to reduce the public health impact of Zika.

In the Philippines, 19 confirmed cases of Zika Virus were documented in 2016 after the index case was identified in Iloilo on September 2, 2016. Twelve (12) out of 19 cases were from Western Visayas, three from National Capital Region, three from CALABARZON, and one from Central Visayas. These cases did not have a history of travel to an affected country a month prior to the onset of their illness.

“Because of these developments, the Philippines further strengthens its actions to prepare and respond to more Zika Virus cases. DOH is incessantly working on its advocacy to strengthen the 4S strategy together with local government units (LGUs). DOH also provided logistics support such as insecticides and fogging machines to Zika hotspots. A total of 16.5 million is provided by DOH for the procurement of Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test to RITM, PCR test for the sub national laboratories, and vector surveillance in selected ports and airports,” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial explained.

The health chief added that there is an ongoing procurement of Zika pregnancy package that identified Zika hotspot areas. This package will include three bottles of insect repellent, one single treated bed net, and two brochures which will contain information on Zika and 4S Strategy.

“These efforts are not possible through DOH alone. We need the untiring cooperation of everyone in this battle against Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases. Our country needs to be united in spreading the word against Zika. Let us work together in achieving One Philippines against Zika,” Secretary Ubial concluded.

DOH Hotlines are established 24/7 where calls may be made by our citizens who may need assistance or inquiries regarding Zika Virus. They may be reached thru (02) 711-1001 or (02) 711-1002.