Monday, June 10, 2013

Health officials warn public against dengue as rainy days begin

By: Bennie A. Recebido

SORSOGON, June 10 (PIA) – With the onset of rainy season and of the opening of classes for School Year 2013-2014, local health officials here are even more alert and has intensified its campaign against the deleterious dengue virus.

Provincial Health Office (PHO) Health Education Program Officer Regina Gonzalgo said that the PHO under the leadership of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Edgar F. Garcia, Jr. is determined to elevate public awareness on winning the battle against dengue through a massive Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign specifically on the community level.

Aside from conducting IEC in communities through the Barangay Health Workers, they also have a regular once a week radio program entitled “Aviso kan PHO”.

PHO record showed that 33 cases of dengue province-wide were noted form January to May 2013. Of the said total cases, one was recorded each from Oras in Catilla, Bacolod in Irosin, Catanusan in Juban and Cawit Extension in Magallanes. Two cases were recorded in Matnog coming from Brgy. Calinta and Brgy. Culasi. Sorsogon City has recorded the most number of cases with 27, three each form Brgy. Talisay and Ticol – 3 each; Balogo – 2; Bibincahan – 2; Bitano – 2; and Gunilajon – 2.

She however made it clear that though no dengue outbreak was declared in the province, this must not be an excuse for Sorsoganons to stay lax. “It is not difficult to fight dengue especially if all members of the community will participate and support the tips and advice given by the health authorities,” Ms. Gonzalgo stated.

Among the tips and advice is the 4:00 o’clock habit where people in the community do clean-up drive. “But of course, we don’t advice doing bonfire or smudge because aside from it can destroy the environment, it is not also a guarantee that mosquitoes will be eliminated,” she added.

They also give emphasis on the 4S which means “Search and Destroy”, “Self-Protection Measure”, “Seek Early Consultation”, at “Say No to Indiscriminate Fogging”. Fogging can be done only if there is an outbreak.

The Department of Health (DOH) Bicol meanwhile, have already alerted the Local Government Units (LGUs) to keep watch of areas where there are suspected dengue cases and undertake prevention and control measures to have it within usual levels and at the same time caution them against classifying diseases with dengue-like symptoms as dengue.

DOH-V Regional Director Gloria J. Balboa said that the Provincial Health Teams (PHTs) of the DOH-CHD Bicol have reminded the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) and Municipal or City Health Officers to take action based on the surveillance data on dengue which are being provided to them by the DOH.

“In that weekly surveillance data, they can deduce or infer trends or patterns, if there are any, on the frequency of occurrence of dengue and take action. Hotspots or clustering of cases can be known in that data including the possibility of an outbreak. Whatever action they take, the DOH-CHD Bicol shall always extend assistance whenever necessary,” Dir. Balboa added.

There is clustering when there are two (2) or more cases in a barangay during a specific morbidity week. A hotspot on the other hand, is one where there are two (2) or more suspected dengue cases for  two (2) successive weeks also in one barangay whereas an outbreak  is one where there is an excess number of cases in a given period than what is expected.

In support to the Department of Health (DOH) and to the national government’s environmental protection program, Sorsogon Police Provincial Office is also doing a regular clean-up drive under their “Linis Bayan – Alis Dengue Program” in their areas of concerns to prevent the spread of dengue virus. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)

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