DOH puts regional health facilities, hospitals on Code White alert following Japan quake, tsunami

Provincial seal of Surigao del Norte, Philippines.Image via WikipediaA March 11, 2011 press release by the Department of Health

Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona on Friday ordered Department of Health regional health facilities and offices to be on Code White alert to continuously monitor events in their respective areas following the magnitude 8.9 earthquake in the northeastern coast of Japan and a tsunami that washed away buildings and cars.

The DOH Health Emergency Management Staff, in coordination with the local government units, specified that health facilities, hospitals, and offices in the Batanes Group of Island, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Quezon Province, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Davao del Sur should be on Code White alert to assist residents who may be affected by the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.

“I call on my fellow health workers to take appropriate precautions, along with their catchment population, and be ready to provide emergency assistance and related services to all residents of areas that may be affected by this afternoon’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan,” Ona said.

Ona said the DOH central office is ready to provide material and logistical support to regional health facilities, hospitals, and offices which may need them.

Code White alert ensures that emergency medicines especially for trauma needs should be stocked up and made available at the emergency room.

Under the Code White Alert, medicines and supplies in the operating rooms should likewise be reviewed and increased to meet sudden requirements, and other needs such as X-ray plates, laboratory requirements, and others should be made available and not required to be purchased by victims. Also, Regional offices are empowered to be prepared to assist in any evacuation of the population in their areas.