Monday, August 22, 2011

DOH, Bukidnon PHO Join Battle Vs. Dengue

By Ruby Leonora R. Balistoy

MALAYBALAY CITY NEWS - Admitting there is an uncertain research result on the vaccine against dengue, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here, has called for continuous active participation of the residents on anti-dengue drive largely based on prevention over treatment.

Dr. Teresita Damasco, Provincial Health Officer, said dengue is everyone's concern and should do their share in cleanliness, since this is still the best weapon to fight the dreadful disease.

In the latest report to Governor Alex Calingasan, PHO surveillance data shows there were only 275 cases from January until now, compared to 1,505 cases in the same months of 2010, hence a drop rate of more than 80 percent.

Despite this, Damasco urged the people of Bukidnon to be more alert as dengue peaks during August to September, the perfect time it hits vulnerable areas.

“Dengue is a man-made problem because mosquitoes that carry dengue need our containers, refrigerators, old tires, empty bottles and cans, drains, and solid wastes as ideal breeding sites,” she said in a simultaneous radio broadcast aired over ten (10) AM and FM radio stations here.

Dr. Josephine Ibalio, dengue control service coordinator of the DOH, likewise, has detailed again the 4S campaign, which are: Search and destroy mosquito breeding places; Self-protection through use of mosquito nets and wearing of long sleeve shirts and pants; Seek early consultation and treatment if symptoms persist; and Say no to indiscriminate fogging.

Since mosquitoes breed near houses, says Dr. Ibalio, any intervention must begin at the household level, to eliminate larvae and eggs so they won't produce adults that can transmit the disease.

With these preventive activities, the DOH and PHO join forces to create as much awareness as possible among the children, their families and the community.

“But shifting ‘ownership’ of dengue control from government to the people pose a serious challenge because people still think it’s the government's business," Dr. Ibalio said.

“The message is that it's not the government’s or local agencies' sole responsibility; we all have to pitch in because, in the long run, it's our own health we're promoting," she explained.

Meanwhile, Damasco applauds the DOH for laying-out so clearly what the local government’s Rural Health Units (RHUs) must do:

Promote coordination, stimulate environmental actions, provide quality care for dengue patients, standardized reporting, and prepare for outbreaks.

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