Anti-dengue task force formed in Region 12

KORONADAL CITY(MindaNews/ 10 September)—In a bid to curb the deadly dengue disease, government agencies in Region 12 have formed a task force to harmonize efforts to fight the menace, with the Department of Health-Center for Health and Development (DOH-CHD) as the lead agency.

Dr. Jebie Areen Biron, DOH-CHD 12 epidemiology and surveillance unit head, said in a statement last week the task force was created because dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, poses significant threats to the health of the people.

From January to August 25 this year, the DOH-CHD 12 recorded 2,554 dengue cases in the region, 24 of them resulting to death. The figure is 24 percent higher compared to that of the same period last year.

Most of the cases were from North Cotabato at 40 percent, followed by South Cotabato at 21 percent and General Santos City at 15 percent.

The task force members are the departments of the Interior and Local Government, Education, Social Welfare and Development, Public Works and Highways, Environment and Natural Resources, and Science and Technology, the Philippine Information Agency, and the health offices of the local government units.

Last month, the regional office of the Department of Science and Technology said it has distributed 11,270 ovicidal-larvicidal (OL) mosquito traps to public schools in North Cotabato.

Nearly 5,600 public elementary and secondary classrooms benefited from the OL trap distribution. In Kidapawan City, 1,454 kits were distributed and 9,816 kits for the rest of North Cotabato, which has 17 towns, the agency said.

Last year, the DOST-12 handed 8,000 OL traps to the cities of Koronadal and General Santos and in the towns of Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato and Alabel in Sarangani following its official launching during the regional celebration of the National Science and Technology Week in August in General Santos City.

Dr. Zenaida P. Hadji Raof Laidan, DOST-12 director, said the distribution of the OL traps in North Cotabato is part of the DOST’s school-based program to curb the deadly dengue virus among the youth.

An OL trap kit consists of a black plastic cup, organic pellets and lawanit paddles. The OL trap is a technology developed by DOST’s Industrial Technology and Development Institute. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)