Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo recently ordered the immediate disinfection and sanitation of the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Jail (OMPJ) due to the outbreak of chicken pox among inmates and prevent the increasing number of skin diseases.
“The risk of infection is very high because of the over-crowded cells where inmates are being detained that is why a regular disinfection and sanitation is a must especially now that we have rising cases of chicken pox,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated.
“We must ensure that viruses and bacteria in all the cell-blocks are eliminated and will not transmit infectious pathogens to inmates”, he explained.
Bacteria, virus and other micro-organisms (such as chickenpox, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections) are transmitted through direct contact which occurs when one person infects the next by direct person-to-person contact and indirect contact which occurs when an intermediate carrier is involved in the spread of pathogens (a microbe or microorganism such as a virus, bacterium or fungus that causes disease in its host).
According to the DOH-MIMAROPA Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, as of September 6, 2017, there are currently 112 inmates with chicken pox, 64 cases with boils, 50 with cough, 15 with colds, 4 with fungal infection and 3 with fever. Aside from these, there were also three inmates who are found out to be HIV positive.
“These cases will further increase because of the overcrowded living conditions inside the jail that is why we have immediately conducted medical interventions to assure that each of these cases will receive proper treatment and medical assistance”, Janairo added.
There were four DOH-MIMAROPA staff who were also infected with chicken pox during the mass screening for inmates held on August 22-31, 2017 at OMPJ.
As of September 17, 2017, there are currently 868 detainees admitted at OMPJ.
Misting operations were also done all over the provincial jail to eliminate mosquitoes and other insect-causing diseases. Comfort rooms, shower areas and living quarters were all sanitized. Various medicines such as amoxicillin, cloxacillin, fungal cream, multivitamins, anti-hypertension, lagundi, mefenamic acid, betadine and cotton were turned over to OMPJ including 1 box of disinfectant solution.
The disinfection and sanitation activity at OMPJ was provided by DOH-MIMAROPA in coordination with the officials of Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro.
“This will be the start of a series of scheduled sanitation and disinfection of prisons and penitentiaries in MIMAROPA. Only through cleanliness and proper hygiene that we can protect ourselves and prevent the spread of diseases”, Janairo concluded.