Tag Archives: Philippines

Updating Philippine National Drinking Water Standards

Lomboy M, Riego de Dios J, Magtibay B, Quizon R, Molina V, Fadrilan-Camacho V, See J, Enoveso A, Barbosa L, Agravante A. Updating national standards for drinking-water: a Philippine experience. Journal of water and health. 2017 Apr;15(2):288-295. doi: 10.2166/wh.2016.177.

The latest version of the Philippine National Standards for Drinking-Water (PNSDW) was issued in 2007 by the Department of Health (DOH). Due to several issues and concerns, the DOH decided to make an update which is relevant and necessary to meet the needs of the stakeholders. As an output, the water quality parameters are now categorized into mandatory, primary, and secondary. The ten mandatory parameters are core parameters which all water service providers nationwide are obligated to test. These include thermotolerant coliforms or Escherichia coli, arsenic, cadmium, lead, nitrate, color, turbidity, pH, total dissolved solids, and disinfectant residual. The 55 primary parameters are site-specific and can be adopted as enforceable parameters when developing new water sources or when the existing source is at high risk of contamination. The 11 secondary parameters include operational parameters and those that affect the esthetic quality of drinking-water. In addition, the updated PNSDW include new sections: (1) reporting and interpretation of results and corrective actions; (2) emergency drinking-water parameters; (3) proposed Sustainable Development Goal parameters; and (4) standards for other drinking-water sources. The lessons learned and insights gained from the updating of standards are likewise incorporated in this paper.

Cholera Outbreak 2012, Philippines

De Guzman A, de Los Reyes VC, Sucaldito MN, Tayag E. Availability of safe drinking-water: the answer to cholera outbreak? Nabua, Camarines Sur, Philippines, 2012. Western Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal 2015 Aug 27;6(3):12-6. doi: 10.5365/WPSAR.2015.6.1.005.

BACKGROUND: In May 2012, there were increasing diarrhoea cases and deaths reported from Nabua, Camarines Sur to the Philippines event-based surveillance system. An investigation was conducted to identify risk factors and determine transmission dynamics.

METHODS: A suspected case was defined as a resident of Nabua with at least three episodes of watery diarrhoea per day from 16 March to 22 June 2012. A confirmed case was defined as a suspected case positive for Vibrio cholerae. An environmental investigation was conducted and rectal swabs and water samples sent to the national reference laboratory for bacterial isolation. A 1:2 case-control study matching for age and sex was conducted. Data were analysed using Epi Info.

RESULTS: There were 309 suspected cases with two deaths, and the most affected age group was children under five years (45%). Eight cases were positive for Vibrio cholerae Ogawa El Tor and one for Non-01. Water samples were positive for faecal coliforms and Aeromonas caviae. The case-control study showed that cases had a higher odds than controls of using unchlorinated water sources (odds ratio [OR] = 3.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]:1.6-8.5) and having toilets located within 20 m of a septic tank (OR = 2.7; 95% CI: 1.4-5.3). In multivariate analysis, the only significant factor was drinking from piped water (OR = 0.21; 95% CI: 0.09-0.49).

DISCUSSION: In this cholera outbreak, drinking-water from unchlorinated wells was a significant risk factor. Future cholera control efforts should include not just improving water and sanitation systems but also intensified behaviour change campaigns.

Cholera in the Philippines Attributed to Infrastructure Breakdown and Non-Chlorination of Drinking Water

Lopez AL, Macasaet LY, Ylade M, Tayag EA, Ali M. Epidemiology of Cholera in the Philippines. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Jan 8;9(1):e3440. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003440.

BACKGROUND: Despite being a cholera-endemic country, data on cholera in the Philippines remain sparse. Knowing the areas where cholera is known to occur and the factors that lead to its occurrence will assist in planning preventive measures and disaster mitigation.

METHODS: Using sentinel surveillance data, PubMed and ProMED searches covering information from 2008-2013 and event-based surveillance reports from 2010-2013, we assessed the epidemiology of cholera in the Philippines. Using spatial log regression, we assessed the role of water, sanitation and population density on the incidence of cholera.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: We identified 12 articles from ProMED and none from PubMed that reported on cholera in the Philippines from 2008 to 2013. Data from ProMed and surveillance revealed 42,071 suspected and confirmed cholera cases reported from 2008 to 2013, among which only 5,006 were confirmed. 38 (47%) of 81 provinces and metropolitan regions reported at least one confirmed case of cholera and 32 (40%) reported at least one suspected case. The overall case fatality ratio in sentinel sites was 0.62%, but was 2% in outbreaks. All age groups were affected. Using both confirmed and suspected cholera cases, the average annual incidence in 2010-2013 was 9.1 per 100,000 population. Poor access to improved sanitation was consistently associated with higher cholera incidence. Paradoxically, access to improved water sources was associated with higher cholera incidence using both suspected and confirmed cholera data sources. This finding may have been due to the breakdown in the infrastructure and non-chlorination of water supplies, emphasizing the need to maintain public water systems.

CONCLUSION: Our findings confirm that cholera affects a large proportion of the provinces in the country. Identifying areas most at risk for cholera will support the development and implementation of policies to minimize the morbidity and mortality due to this disease.

Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water

Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water 2007

Status of waterborne parasites in the Philippines

Onichandran S, Kumar T, Salibay CC, Dungca JZ, Al Tabo H, Tabo N, Tan TC, Al Lim Y, Sawangjaroen N, Phiriyasamith S, Andiappan H, Ithoi I, Lau YL, Nissapatorn V. Waterborne parasites: a current status from the Philippines. Parasit Vectors. 2014 May 28;7(1):244.

BACKGROUND: Despite the amount of awareness created, waterborne disease still poses threat, especially in developing countries. Due to the scarcity of reported data on waterborne parasites, the consumption of unsafe water prolongs. Thus, the occurrences of waterborne parasites from various samples were investigated from one of the Southeast Asian country, the Philippines.

METHODS: A total of thirty three samples, each consisting of twelve liters, were collected and processed to obtain the sediment. Ten liters of sample each was processed to detect Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp. using an immunomagnetic separation method prior to enumeration via fluorescence microscope. Meanwhile, the remaining two liters were cultured to detect Acanthamoeba and Naegleria through microscopy examination and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis.

RESULTS: Twelve samples (36.4%) from river (5), swimming pool (1), pond (3), rain tank (1), and natural lake (2) were positive for Cryptosporidium spp., 17 (45.5%) samples from river (9), pond (2), swimming pool (1), rain tank (1), and natural lake (4) were positive for Giardia spp. while, 13 (33.3%) samples from river (3), swimming pool (2), pond (2), dispenser (1), well (1), tap (2) and natural lake (2) were positive for Acanthamoeba spp. and 5 (18.2%) samples from river (1), natural lake (1), tap (1), dispenser (1) and mineral (1) were Naegleria spp. positive. Physical parameters such as temperature, conductivity, total dissolved solid (TDS), salinity, dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, and turbidity and chemical parameters such as ammonia, chlorine, fluoride, nitrate and nitrite were also measured. The highest chemical contamination was observed at pond 2. A good correlation was observed between Giardia and nitrite (r = 0.736, p < 0.01) and Giardia and nitrate (r = 0.502, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: This study was aimed to create greater awareness of parasitic contamination in the water environment in the Philippines and also to act as a platform of the current scenario for policymakers as water pollution is a key health issue in this region.

Manila (Philippines) goes on boil water alert

An advisory was issued yesterday after Metro Manila and parts of Luzon suffered incessant heavy rainfall and flooding.

Click here for details….

Philippine flooding takes toll, drinking water scarce

650+ deaths from flooding….drinking water plant damaged making potable water scarce….click here for more reporting.