Iloilo City—The Department of Health-Center for Health Development in Western Visayas is calling on the public to religiously observe the “4S” and the “ABKD” to address the increasing cases of dengue in the region, which as of June this year has already reached 8,613 with 48 deaths.
Ma. Lourdes Monegro, regional entomologist, said in a press conference Monday the region saw a 198 percent increase in cases compared to the 2,886 cases and 23 deaths for the same period last year.
The highest recorded deaths came from the 1 to 10 age group with 31, followed by those aged 11 to 20 with six; ages 31 to 40 with four; three each for ages 21 to 30 and ages 41 to 50, and one death for the 51 and above age group.
Iloilo province recorded the highest number of cases with 2,516 and 12 deaths, followed by Negros Occidental with 2,277 cases and 17 deaths.
Aklan has 1,019 with five deaths; Antique, 285 cases with two deaths; Capiz, 1,245 with seven deaths; Guimaras has 187 cases with no death; Iloilo City, 557 with four deaths; Bacolod City, 433 with one death and others with 94 cases and zero death.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. on Monday also met with municipal mayors and health workers to set a “high sense of urgency” to stem the rising dengue cases in the province.
Based on Provincial Health Office (PHO) data, Concepcion town has the most number of deaths with three; followed by Pototan, Banate, and Bingawan with two each; and Santa Barbara, Pavia, and New Lucena with one each.
The component city of Passi has 225 dengue cases recorded; Concepcion, 173; Ajuy, 126; Santa Barbara, 116; and Pototan, 19.
“We discussed the things to do because the situation in the province is alarming,” Defensor said in an interview shortly after the meeting at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol Board Room.
He reiterated that the provincial government continues to ask for the help of the community especially in searching and destroying breeding places of mosquitoes.
“We talked about a number of things we should do and I have decided to have it done immediately. We ask the participation of everybody because our strategy to combat dengue will not be effective if we only rely on our doctors and village officials,” he said.
Dr. Patricia Grace Trabado, PHO head, said the information campaign against dengue will be intensified.
Trabado hopes to appeal to local radio stations in the province to simultaneously air health promotion advocacy and dengue prevention information.
“Like for example, our local radio stations can air 10-minuter information on dengue every Saturday at 6:00 p.m.,” she said, adding that this strategy can impact listeners who will eventually “change in behavior.”
Trabado said the public can help in preventing dengue by searching and destroying mosquitoes’ breeding places.
Addressing the mayors and health workers present at the meeting, Trabado emphasized that the decrease in breeding sites will also reduce the cases.
Millard Villanueva, municipal mayor of Concepcion, said their town has already gathered its local school boards to help prevent cases in schools.
“All principals in Concepcion attended and they were told to remind their teachers to help spread awareness among the pupils,” he said, adding that the school-aged children can also help prevent the disease.
Dennis Superficial, municipal mayor of Santa Barbara town, said that aside from the “4S” strategy against dengue, insect repellents can also prevent the disease.
“Two years back; we formulated a neem cream that we apply to kids. It’s environmentally-friendly and it helps in our prevention of dengue cases,” Superficial said.
The PHO continues its “4S Strategy” campaign, which stands for “Search and Destroy” mosquito breeding places, “Secure Self Protection” from mosquito bites, “Seek Early Consultation” when signs and symptoms of dengue occur, and “Say Yes to Fogging” as a last resort when there is a looming outbreak.
Monegro said there will also be a blood-letting activity to be facilitated by the Philippine Red Cross Iloilo Chapter. She urged qualified blood donors to join the event, as the blood that will be gathered will benefit dengue patients.