TURNING POINT: Dengvaxia: From Cure to Insecure

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NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 19 Dec) – Dengvaxia was supposed to be a preventive cure for the lethal dengue disease; it became instead a national dengue insecurity nightmare.

More important and pressing, however, than the procedural issues on the purchase of Dengvaxia is how to allay the worry and fear of the parents of the kids injected with the controversial vaccine. Perhaps it may help if the appropriate authorities consider the following:

  1. Make available the medicines and protocols that may help counter severe dengue syndromes in localities where the vaccination was made. A quick response health personnel team should immediately be trained and developed in strategic places of affected areas for the purpose.
  2. An independent study should be conducted to determine if there is a significant difference in morbidity / mortality between vaccinated children and those not in the same area; and between areas where vaccination was done and not. Results of the study should be made public for everyone’s information and guidance.

And in the sustained fight against dengue, DOST scientists should intensify research on the efficacy of local herbs in the treatment of dengue and develop drugs for easy availability to the public. For instance, there are a lot of anecdotal claims on the effectiveness of Tawatawa tea and papaya leaves extract as dengue cure. The country will benefit if these claims are scientifically studied and validated.

As a preventive measure, a drive nationwide should be carried out to free the immediate environment of mosquito breeding grounds. Local authorities, school personnel and parents should give attention to schools and residential areas with some low grounds and clogged open canals with stagnant waters year round.

The fight against dengue, like the fight against corruption, is everybody’s concern. Unto this we urge authorities to conduct serious investigations to prevent and stop further corruption, not as in aid of self-adulation.

It is noticed that congressional hearings have become a platform of insecure and myopic legislators for grandstanding. This ought to be prevented or stopped, too.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)

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