Saved You A Google: PMA Hazing kills cadet, polio is back, African Swine Flu, the new PGH in Diliman, and the Indonesia haze

There are days in your life when you think, “WTF is happening to the world?” Sadly, days like these are becoming more and more frequent. We live in a world where a 16-year-old is fighting for the future of the whole human race because nobody seems to give a damn about the climate crisis. Even worse, us Filipinos have to endure so many evils everyday. Did you know that polio, a disease which has been eradicated (yes, completely wiped out!) from most of the world, is now back in our country? All thanks to these anti-vaxxers who have too much airtime on TV. 

So yes, maybe we are at the endgame now. (Or maybe not, I sure wish we still have more years left.) But to keep you up-to-date with everything that’s been happening in the world, we’re giving you a rundown, because if we’re going down, what better way than to go down while being in-the-know?

He’s not wrong: After a hazing fatality, PNP Chief Bato Dela Rosa states he owes his “discipline” to initiation rites done in PMA

At the hands of upperclassmen, a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) freshman suffered fatal injuries from hazing rites, leading to his death last Sept. 18. Medical findings show that Darwin Dormitorio, a 20-year-old plebe of the academy, died from blunt force trauma — a result of initiation rites done in their barracks, later confirmed by other PMA cadets. Dormitorio’s undeserved fatality calls for a review of the Republic Act 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Law of 2018, which prohibits all forms of hazing, and a closer review of the country’s premier military school: where acts inflicting pain and humiliation are seemingly commonplace ways to toughen its students, with PMA officials allegedly supporting this way of schooling. PNP chief Bato Dela Rosa, a graduate of the academy, even chalks up his own initiation rites during his time to discipline. Makes sense, given how they’re spilling a hell lot of blood, too.



Polio’s back: We can appreciate a good 20th Century comeback, but we’re going to have to draw the line right here

The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed this week that vaccine-derived polio (VDP) Type 2 has re-emerged in the country just shy of two decades after its supposed eradication, following confirmed cases in Lanao del Sur and Laguna. The virus has also been found in water sewage samples from Manila and Davao.

The return of the near-extinct disease has been attributed to fears over vaccines influenced by the controversy surrounding dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, and it has caused the World Health Organization to have to issue a reminder that all children under five need to be vaccinated against polio.

The polio epidemic comes on the heels of recent dengue and measles outbreaks in the country this year, which are also thought to be caused by a lack of awareness regarding vaccines. In February, there were 12,736 reported cases of measles between Jan. 1 and Feb. 23, which includes 203 deaths — amounting to about a 457 percent increase from 2,789 cases reported in the same period of the year before, which resulted in 25 deaths. The DOH also declared a national dengue epidemic in August, after a 98 percent rise of cases from January to July compared to the same period in 2018, which includes 622 related deaths.

In response to the polio outbreak, the DOH will be offering free vaccinations to children aged 5 and below in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Mindanao starting Oct. 14.



Isn’t it ironic: A new PGH will rise in a displaced community, while its dilapidated Manila counterpart continues to struggle

Around 160 residents within the UP Aboretum are facing probable displacement to make way for Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Diliman. The P2-billion project has always been under scrutiny, with students questioning the purpose of creating a PGH in Diliman when: one, there are several government hospitals in the vicinity and two, the already-existing PGH in Manila is in dire need of improvement — hallways are turned into wards, patients from all parts of the country line up for hours, severe lack of equipment and staff (which are mostly comprised of unpaid student interns), just to name a few. There’s no question that the budget allocated for PGH Diliman should be given to PGH in Manila, whose allocation is P2B short of its P4B operational expenses. It just goes to show that officials, with their lofty medical insurances and fancy hospitals, are oblivious to the plight of the people they’re supposed to serve a.k.a an always ongoing trend with people in power.



Don’t panic: African swine fever has hit the Philippines, everyone has to remember it’s not contagious for humans 

Over 7,400 pigs have been culled in Rizal and Bulacan after lab tests confirmed that African swine fever (ASF) caused the death of some groups of pigs. Despite this, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has stated that the cases in those areas are controlled, and that the media should be careful in controlling mass panic. While highly contagious and often lethal for pigs, the World Organization for Animal Health has said that ASF cannot be transmitted to humans through contact with pigs or pork.

In this scenario, local hog farm owners are hit the hardest, as the DA lacks funds and can only offer loans to compensate for their losses. For the individual consumer, you can see that some reports have pointed to a possible rise in inflation due to increasing demand for poultry and other pork substitutes. Originating from Chinese hog farms, African swine fever has since spread to other parts of Asia, including Mongolia, North Korea, Japan, Poland, and Russia. Hopefully the disease gets contained soon, or else we could be seeing major changes in world markets.



Red Alert: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore are engulfed in a bright red haze because of man-made forest fire

Just as Greta Thunberg led millions of people on last week’s climate strike, a man-made forest fire in Indonesia has caused the skies of the province of Jambi in Indonesia to be engulfed in a bright red haze. You take a look at the photos and think: Is this a clip from The Martian? But nope. It’s all here on Earth. And yes, all this is man-made.

Around 200 people have been arrested, and 4 corporations are under investigation because of the wildfire that resulted from the illegal burning of waste crops in the farmlands in Indonesia. The massive fire has burned down over 300,000 hectares of farmland. The haze has reached Malaysia and Singapore, where air quality has decreased drastically over the past week. Residents have evacuated their homes after a state of emergency was declared.

The haze has also reached parts of Visayas and Mindanao. PAGASA has warned the residents of Tawi-Tawi and Palawan of low visibility, warning fishermen to be more vigilant when out in the sea at night.

#culture #health

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