SoCot health officials brace for dengue, malaria

According to records of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), some 30 dengue cases were so far reported since January this year, a major drop from the 237 cases during the same period last year.

Eight of these cases were recorded in Lake Sebu, six in Surallah, seven in this city, four in Polomolok, two each in Tampakan and Tantangan and one in Tupi.

In 2005, the province recorded the highest dengue incidence in five years with 818 positive cases, increasing by more than 60 percent from the cases in 2004.

At least 21 confirmed deaths caused by dengue were recorded in 2004 and 2005.

Jose Barroquillo, coordinator of the IPHO’s dengue prevention and control program, said they are doubling their efforts in monitoring and campaigning among residents about preventive measures for the disease in a bid to reduce the number of cases.

“We cannot afford to be complacent since an upsurge of dengue cases usually happen during the rainy season, starting May until September,” he said.

Barroquillo, who is also the provincial sanitary inspector, said they have earlier laid down the plans and programs to stop the spread of dengue and possibly eradicate the disease.

He said among the prevention and control measures they implemented were community mobilization, health education and promotion campaigns, legislative support, environment management and sanitation and mosquito control drives.

Barroquillo said they have so far produced posters and leaflets about dengue awareness, launched advocacy and lobbying among local officials for additional funding support, information dissemination through the provincial community outreach program and the establishment of the dengue and malaria alert teams.