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Health cluster tackles dengue outbreak

To address the spike in dengue cases, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday convened the Health Cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Council to discuss, plan and solicit support from different member agencies.

Duque intends to effectively deal with the ongoing challenge of the rising dengue cases in selected regions of the country after he declared a National Dengue Alert last Monday.

From Jan. 1 up to June 29 this year, the Health department has listed  106,630 dengue cases nationwide, which were 85 percent higher than the number of dengue cases in the same period last year.

The department also said 456 had died due to dengue this year and majority of them were children aged five to nine years old.

Duque said code blue had already been activated in coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. 

That prompted the Health department to call for a total government response to address the situation in the areas exceeding the epidemic threshold and alert threshold levels.

Duque said each member agency will provide the necessary support specific to its mandate, with the Office for Civil Defense assisting the department in mobilizing medical teams and logistics.

The Interior department will ensure the compliance of its local government units to the enhanced 4S strategy, disseminate information, education and communication materials to them, and oversee the preparedness of their Rural Health Units and LGU-run hospitals.

The Education department will ensure compliance with the 4S strategy by issuing a memorandum to all schools and activate the Dengue School Brigade, coordinate with the Health department and rural health units for the installation of insecticide-treated screens and enhance dengue awareness in schools.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, on the other hand, will intensify dengue awareness among its 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) and IPs (Indigenous People) beneficiaries by including the dengue 4S strategy in their Family Development Sessions and enhance the 4S strategy during the conduct of their regular meetings.

The Philippine Red Cross will augment medical teams and logistics to the affected areas, conduct mobile blood donation activities and provide emergency transport for the referral of cases.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police will prepare military hospitals and clinics for possible surge capacity, aside from assisting the Health department mobilize its medical teams and logistics.

The Philippine Information Agency will support the department in intensifying dengue awareness campaigns and advocacy by using all media platforms, airing of dengue key messages regularly and facilitating the guesting of key Health deparment officials for interviews.

“I appeal to all of the member agencies of the NDRRMC to be one with us in this fight. I am confident that, together, we will rise above this health challenge,” Duque said.

Topics: Department of Health , Health Cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Council , National Dengue Alert , Francis Duque III , Department of Social Welfare and Development
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