DOH-12 sounds alarm over growing number of persons with comorbidities

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 August) – The Department of Health – Region 12 (DOH-12) has raised concern over the increasing number of individuals with comorbidities who are being reported by the rural health units (RHUs) amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Dr. Edvir Jane Montañer, the immunization manager of DOH-12, said on Thursday they noticed such trend in the reports submitted by the RHUs in the COVID-19 inoculation coverage for priority group A3 or persons with comorbidities.

She said the vaccination accomplishment so far for A3 in the region have surpassed the original target by 143.67 percent.

The master list for the group earlier submitted by local health offices only listed a total of 117,532 eligible individuals but some 168,861 were already vaccinated in the area as of Thursday.

“We need to have a holistic approach on this because the data showed that there are many individuals who already have comorbidities in the region,” Montañer said in a briefing.

She said they already tapped personnel under their non-communicable diseases program to formulate strategies to address the problem.

It will look into possible interventions to stop the number of individuals with comorbidities in the area from further increasing, she said.

Aside from the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination, Montañer said they also advised the RHUs to come up with strategies and interventions on the matter.

A DOH-12 report said hypertension was the leading cause of morbidity or illness in the region in 2020 with 26,887, followed by acute respiratory infection with 18,845, urinary tract infection with 13,708, and upper respiratory tract infection.

The other leading causes of morbidity are wounds (all types), influenza, pneumonia, bronchitis/bronchiolitis, acute watery diarrhea, and diabetes mellitus.

In terms of mortality or deaths, heart diseases topped the list with 2,062, followed by hypertension with 1,469, renal disease with 1,345 and pneumonia with 1,251.

Completing the top 10 causes of mortality are cancer (all forms) with 1,239, cerebrovascular accidents/stroke with 1,141, diabetes mellitus with 999, myocardial infarction with 605, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with 499, and tuberculosis (all forms) with 435.

Region 12 straddles the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal Tacurong and Kidapawan. (MindaNews)