SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 December) — Cases of dengue here dropped to 393 from 859 last year, Garosfe Menor, dengue program coordinator of the City Health Office (CHO) said.
But Menor urged residents not to take any chances especially this rainy season.
“Dengue cases normally occur from September to January so let’s maintain cleanliness of our surroundings to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne disease,” she said.
She said Washington, Taft. Luna and San Juan, all urban villages in Surigao City topped the list of dengue incidence.
Menor said the highest incidence in 11 years was recorded last year with 859 cases and three deaths. The second was in 2004 with 429 cases and six deaths.
Information dissemination helped much in reducing the number of dengue cases.
Jessica Nepomuceno, the CHO’s communicable disease cluster coordinator, said aside from radio plugging, they reproduced handouts of the Department of Health (DOH) on the “4 o’clock habit” and distributed them during their information drives.
According to the DOH, the 4 o’clock habit is “back-to basics Stop, Look & Listen approach.”
“Stop means ‘dropping’ everything and shifting current task for mosquito control. Look means that around 4 o’clock and until next hour, assigned teams carry out systematic ‘search and destroy’ activities that will identify and eliminate mosquito-breeding sites. Listen entails heeding the instructions from local authorities, community leaders, or work supervisors for synchronous implementation of the 4 o’clock habit. This can be done on a daily basis, or at least on a weekly basis based on institutional capacity and prevailing resources,” the DOH posted on its website.
Health workers also visited the victims’ houses and checked the surroundings for locations where mosquitoes could breed, she said. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)