GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/23 June) – In a bid to control the increasing cases of dengue in the city, the city government here has intensified the implementation and monitoring of its community-based prevention and control programs against the deadly disease.
City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio said she directed the City Integrated Health Services Office (CIHSO) to facilitate the city-wide implementation of the integrated vector control program, which was earlier recommended by the Department of Health (DOH) as an effective measure in combating the disease.
The ant-dengue measures were recommended by Dr. Abdullah Dumama, DOH Region 12 director, at the height of the sudden rise of dengue cases last year, a report from the City Information Office said.
The program includes the mobilization of barangay dengue brigades in local schools, private and government establishments and residential areas to lead the campaign for the observance of the “4 o’clock habit” or cleanup.
The local government was mandated to conduct public information and education campaigns in schools and barangays, focusing on the promotion of early consultation for individuals that exhibit symptoms of dengue fever.
The DOH also directed the activation of “dengue express lanes” in local hospitals to ensure early medication for dengue patients.
It recommended the “conduct of larvicide application and biological larva control and the conduct of assisted vector control via space spraying for areas with cases above-epidemic threshold.”
CIHSO officials alerted local communities last week against the rising cases of dengue, which already reached 146 cases since January.
Dr. Jacinto Makilang, CIHSO chief, said they have also recorded at least four deaths due to dengue during the period.
He said this year’s figures dropped by 37 cases or around 20 percent but the number of fatalities has increased by three cases when compared to last year.
It may be recalled that the city recorded a sudden surge of dengue cases during the onset of the rainy season in June last year.
The health official said the local government’s intensified campaign against dengue is centered on observance of the DOH’s 4-S strategy – search and destroy, self-protection, seek early treatment and say no to indiscriminate fogging – by all local community stakeholders. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)