Pinoys should focus on prevention over curing diseases: expert


Posted at Sep 29 2019 04:07 PM | Updated as of Sep 29 2019 11:03 PM

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MANILA - An infection specialist on Sunday said Filipinos should focus more on prevention rather than curing diseases as the country grapples with several outbreaks.

This after the Philippines announced the resurgence of polio in the country after nearly 2 decades. The government earlier also declared a national dengue epidemic and a measles outbreak.

Dr. Rontgene Solante of the San Lazaro Hospital said Filipinos tend to act only when they've experienced symptoms.

"We don't prioritize prevention as just that. We only prioritize when we have an infection," he told ANC's Dateline Philippines.

He added that health centers, especially in provinces, should be improved to strengthen their capabilities in dealing with infectious diseases.

"I think the infrastructure in the health care delivery may not be adequate at this point. We need to reinforce health centers, increase their capability," he said.

"They are far-flung from the city... and they lack the manpower to deliver what is really important in terms of vaccination, preventive measures. We lack diagnostics, that's one thing, the ability to diagnose a particular infection."

Meanwhile, the current vaccine coverage in the country is only as high as 50 percent, way below the 95-percent requirement.

Solante warned more vaccine-preventable diseases could emerge once again.