SIBULAN, Negros Oriental, June 19 (PIA) -- Local health officials reported a huge spike in the number of dengue cases in the province this year.
Department of Health (DOH) Negros Oriental Provincial Officer Dr. Socrates Villamor disclosed during the Kapihan sa PIA forum yesterday that there are 1,469 dengue cases with five deaths recorded from January 1 to June 15, 2019.
The figure showed a 253 percent increase in dengue cases recorded last year which is 416 with five deaths.
The data came from the different DOH reporting units based in three major city and Rural Health Units (RHUs) across the province.
Dr. Villamor said most of the victims were males aged six to 10 years old.
Majority of the cases were registered in the province's capital, Dumaguete City, which had 17.5 percent of the total number of cases, followed by Sibulan with 12.2 percent, Bais City with 8.2 percent, Guihulngan City with 7.1 perecnt, and Siaton with 6.1 percent.
Also included in the list of top 10 local government units with high number of dengue cases are Tanjay City, Vallehermoso, Sta. Catalina, Manjuyod, and Basay.
The DOH provincial office is also monitoring two barangays in Basay and one in Mabinay for a possible declaration of dengue outbreak based on the parameters set by the department.
Dr. Villamor disclosed that the rise in the number of dengue cases can be attributed to the projected trend of the disease, wherein cases are expected to go up on the third year following two years of low dengue incidence.
"We are anticipating na motaas gyud ang kaso karon tuiga kay based on cycle, ika-third year na karon. Mao nang amo gyud ning gipanghinusgan with the provincial health office nga dapat dili mahitabo na mas mosaka pa ang atong mga kaso karon (We are anticipating dengue cases may go up this year. Based on the cycle, this is the third year. That's why we are intensifying our efforts to prevent the further increase in the number of dengue cases)," Villamor said.
In view of this and in time with the observance of Dengue Awareness Month this June, the provinciual health officer renewed the call to the public to cooperate with health officials in its campaign to curb the high incidence of dengue in the province.
"Kinahanglan ni ug community effort kay dili ni kaya sa DOH ra. Di pod kaya sa RHU ra. Kinahanglan kita gyud tanan magtinabangan ta ani para masugpo nato ang atong mga kaso sa dengue (We need the effort of the community. DOH cannot do this alone. The RHUs cannot do this alone. We need your cooperation to resolve the dengue cases here)," Villamor emphasized.
He also encouraged the public to adopt DOH's 4S strategy to avoid dengue, namely: Search and destroy, Self-protection, and Seek early consultation.
Last month, DOH together with the City Health Office of Dumaguete launched a Kontra Dengue caravan to stress the importance of holding clean-up drives and search and destroy activities to eliminate possible breeding sites of dengue-carrying mosquitos and also urge the public to practice the 4S strategy.
Villamor emphasized that dengue-carrying mosquitos breed on clear stagnant water, which is why it is important to clean the surroundings including possible breeding sites inside the house like flower vases, water dispensers, and containers.
Meanwhile, in Sibulan town - the second LGU with the most number of dengue cases in the province - the Municipal Health Office (MHO) conducted impregnation of household curtains and blankets in every barangay as a response to the high dengue prevalence in their area.
In this process, fabrics are soaked in insecticide - impregnated solutions which would reduce dengue infections in the community.
Dr. Jan Sibala, the municipal health officer, said her office also distributed treated mosquito nets to be used as protective screen in classrooms so that dengue-carrying mosquitos will not be able to get inside the classrooms.
Based on the records of the MHO, since January 1 this year, Barangay Maslog has 50 dengue cases, Barangay Boloc-Boloc has 28, Barangays Cangmating and Magatas have 20 cases each, Barangay Tubtubon has 19 cases, Barangay Agan-an has nine cases with one death, Barangay Ajong and Poblacion have seven cases each, Barangays Balugo and Looc have four cases each, while Barangay San Antonio and Tubigon have three cases each.
The MHO is set to conduct another round of entomological survey in the coming days in view of the onset of the rainy season where dengue-carrying mosquitos are expected to thrive.
"Nay mangadto sa mga barangay para mag-survey dayon depende sa resulta sa survey mag-impregnation na pod ta (Our staff will go to barangays to conduct survey and we will once again hold impregnation depending on the result of the survey)," Sibala said.
"Kining dire sa community, prevention is better than cure. Tanang pamaagi buhaton nato para malikayan ang pagdaghan sa mga lamok. Unya naa pod tay community clean-up drive. I think important pod niya especially sa schools kay diha ang mga bata dayon sa kada community para mas ma-lessen nato ang breeding areas (Here in the community, we emphasize prevention is better than cure. We will exhaust all means to prevent the increase of dengue-carrying mosquitos. We will also have community clean-up drive. I think this is important especially in schools where there are children. It's also important to do this in the community to lessen the breeding areas of mosquitos)," she added.
The MHO will also hold a blood donation drive on July 11 as part of its intervention to address dengue disease. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)