The Makati City government on Tuesday announced it has started distributing free anti-dengue kits to some 47,212 public elementary students as part of the city’s campaign to prevent dengue, especially during the rainy season.
Mayor Abigail Binay said each kit contains a 250-ml mosquito repellent lotion and a wrist band with four citronella capsules that last up to three months.
Binay said all public elementary school students from Kinder to Grade 6, including learners in the Special Education (SpEd) curriculum, will get the health kits.
Data from the Department of Education-Makati showed that there are 6,765 Kinder students, 6,765 Grade 1 students, 6,634 Grade 2 students, 6,556 Grade 3 students, 6,871 Grade 4 students, 6,891 Grade 5 students, 6,142 Grade 6 students, and 588 SPED learners.
“The city has continuously put a premium on enhancing the learning experience of students in our public schools. We want them to look neat and smart and feel confident when they go to school. At the same time, we aim to keep them well-protected from the elements and seasonal diseases,” Binay said.
She said the city has been distributing free school supplies and uniforms to public school students since 1995 under Project FREE (Free Relevant and Excellent Education). In the past six years, her administration has added rubber shoes, socks, rain gear, wellness kits, and newly-designed uniforms and school bags to the list of freebies.
The mayor also said the city continues to conduct clean-up drives, preventive misting operations, and health education seminars in barangays to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.
The Makati City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) has recorded 334 dengue cases from January 1 to August 15.
Binay urged her constituents to implement the “4S” strategy in their houses, campuses, and offices to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.
The 4S strategy involves searching and destroying mosquito-breeding sites, securing self-protection measures (use of insect repellent sprays/lotions, long sleeve shirts, and long pants), seeking early consultation, and supporting fogging and spraying in hotspot places.
The mayor also asked local residents to report persons with dengue symptoms to Makati CESU or barangay health centers.
According to the Department of Health, dengue symptoms include high fever that lasts up to seven days, skin flushing, bleeding of the nose or gums, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.
The agency said female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carry the dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. These vector mosquitoes grow in number during the rainy season because of damp weather and stagnant water.