DMC soon to be regional H1N1 test center

Jul. 20, 2009

DAVAO CITY — Health secretary Francisco Duque announced plans of turning Davao Medical Center as the newest H1N1 testing center like the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila.

Duque was in the city for the DOH-ARMM Health Assembly and AIPH launching ceremony held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel.

“We are still building the capacity of DMC but the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine will arrive in Davao a week or two from now,” Duque said.

He explained that there is a necessity for establishing a center in the region so that suspected H1N1 cases will have their tests immediately done in the city and have the results as soon as possible.

With the current set-up, patients need to wait for the results for several days after undergoing swab testing. All of the laboratory testing are done in RITM.

Duque said that with increasing number of confirmed H1N1 cases, the government is pushed to invest on facilities that would provide quick results for quick medication of patients.

DOH currently has five machines installed nationwide. There are two PCR in RITM, one in San Lazaro Hospital, one in Vicente Sotto Hospital, and one in Baguio.

DMC would be the fifth testing center capable of handle H1N1 testing.

Davao Medical Center chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega said that experts in RITM will train selected DMC staff and teach them how to handle and operate the PCR. (PIA XI)

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