DOH trains health care workers for Dengvaxia recipients

MANILA To better respond to the mental health and psychosocial needs of Dengvaxia recipients and their families in the region, the Department of Health (DOH) 4-A (Calabarzon) launched on Thursday a psychosocial intervention training for their health care providers in Quezon City.

"This training will enhance their capabilities in developing an action plan to roll out and assist government agencies, public and private hospitals in our region in terms of mental health and psychosocial support services for the affected areas," DOH 4-A Health and Wellness Program for PWDs coordinator, Paulina Calo, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Calo said the trainees include doctors, nurses, and government health workers who have encounters or direct interactions with Dengvaxia vaccinees and their parents.

"Actually, this is the ninth batch which started in May 2018. We have trained 593 health workers before, plus now 43. That's a total of 636 to date," she added.

DOH 4-A Dengvaxia Task Force technical head, Evamarie Torio, told PNA the training is a priority program of the department.

"We train the health workers so they can cascade their learning to the people on the ground, the families affected by Dengvaxia. This sustenance of the program depends on the supplemental budget of PHP1.16 billion, specifically for talking about Dengvaxia patients alone, aside from the DOH's annual budget," she said.

Torio said they were mandated to monitor the vaccinees for five years.

She, however, noted that they cannot determine yet if the vaccinees would need more or less than five years of monitoring since everything is under investigation and monitoring is the priority of the government.

"In Calabarzon only, there are 172, 600 vaccinees for the first dose. This is school-based data only. This doesn't include community-based data and number of vaccinees in private hospitals. We had 59 deaths as of December 2017 to Aug. 31 and only five of them reflected dengue-like cases," she said.

Calabarzon consists of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

Noting health workers also experience stress and trauma while attending to Dengvaxia concerns, Torio said training sessions like this could empower and encourage them to understand and better serve the vaccinees and their families.

"Tinatanggap nila ang galit ng magulang (They are bearing the anger of the parents), emotions of the parents, sinisisi sila (they are being blamed) for the death of the Dengvaxia vaccinees at may verbal and non-verbal threats so ang activity gaya nito (activities like these) refreshes them and helps them provide care for the children and their families," she said.

The training session includes a stress management workshop, Dengavaxia and Dengue prevention program, skills enhancement in caring for clients with psychosocial needs, and open forum. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency