GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/4 Aug) – The city government has established a special ward for dengue patients at the city district hospital here due to the continuing rise of confirmed dengue cases in the area.
Dr. Arvin Alejandro, city district hospital chief, said Wednesday they opened a temporary dengue ward starting Tuesday to ensure the proper and more focused treatment of dengue patients, which continued to increase during the last several weeks.
“We initially converted our student’s room as temporary dengue ward but were looking at opening our warehouse to accommodate more patients later on,” he said.
Alejandro said the facility has been receiving dengue patients from various barangays in the city and nearby Sarangani province on a daily basis.
He said most of the dengue patients now confined at the hospital are children and the pediatric ward is already crowded.
Aside from the opening of the dengue ward, Alejandro said they also asked the local government to allocate additional funds for the immediate purchase of dextrose supplies and special blood testing kits for dengue patients.
As of Tuesday, the City Integrated Health Services Office (CIHSO) here said dengue incidence in the city already reached 588 cases with three confirmed deaths from January to July this year.
The city only recorded 248 dengue cases and with two deaths in the same period in 2009.
Dr. Lalaine Calonzo, CIHSO’s assistant department head, said the results of their evaluation showed that at least 58.4 percent of the dengue patients in the city were children aged 10 and below.
She said most of the patients were from the identified endemic areas in the city that includes Barangays Lagao, Labangal, Calumpang, San Isidro, City Heights and Fatima.
Calonzo said City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio already directed their office to coordinate with private hospitals and concerned government and non-government agencies in the city for the conduct of unified activities against the spread of dengue.
She said their efforts are currently focused on the conduct of intensified dengue awareness and cleanup drives in various communities in the city.
“We are working double time since the situation is more critical this time because the dengue strain that we’ve been encountering is more fatal,” Calonzo said. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)