Press Release
June 3, 2009

Alarming rate of rising H1N1cases in the country
Angara bats for more effective prevention of cases

With the increasing rate of H1N1 cases in our country, with 21 reported cases Senator Angara emphasized the need for health systems to be at the forefront of discovering cures and solution to emerging viruses.

"With 48 countries reportedly affected by the H1N1 health experts needs to be more aggressive in the fight of this pandemic flu. This situation stresses the need for an effective health system that will push for importance of universal access to health care and strengthen primary health assistance," said Angara who formerly chaired the Senate Committee on Health.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), worldwide Influenza A (H1N1) cases have already climbed up to 13,398 cases and 95 are reported deaths.

Most infections have occurred in the northern hemisphere: The US, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Spain and the UK together account for 97 percent of the total confirmed cases.

He added, "With rising number of cases in the country, it is important for government to come out with regular and frequent bulletins on what to do to avoid contracting the illness and since a vaccine against H1N1 has yet to be formulated, we've got to be more cautious in preventing the spread of the disease."

Angara emphasized that the establishment of an effective health system will serve as a potent key in fighting this epidemic and preventing other related diseases or viruses to erupt.

Studies show that that spread of the virus to the southern hemisphere could have a harsher impact especially since population in this area is more vulnerable, younger and often live in crowded area.

The senator, who is the current Finance Committee chair, cited that the heightened alert calls on all countries to activate an emergency response plan, to spur pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the production of antiviral drugs and development of a vaccine, and to urge aid institutions to help poor countries afford measures to fight the virus.

He added that to cure is not enough. He said, it is for betterment that we prevent alarming diseases to enter our premise and create a mechanism to detect and equip ourselves with necessary facilities and medications.

"Communicating the situation to the public is very important, it is important not to spur chaos or create public panic. Hence, there is a need to balance information and make the people aware of the risks. A successful response is one that engages a well informed public in the ongoing effort to battle the crisis," said Angara.

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