KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/08 June) — The city registered the highest number of dengue cases in North Cotabato from January to May this year, a health official said.
Dr. Duvia Tabugo, head of the Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office, said Kidapawan had 277 dengue cases during the period, followed by M’lang with 245, Kabacan with 155, and Midsayap with 100.
Tabugo said the province has a total of 1,302 dengue cases from January to May, second only to General Santos City for Region 12.
Dr. Ted Calica, assistant city health officer said the areas in Kidapawan with the most number of cases are Barangays Poblacion (95), Singao 31), Kalasuyan (10), and Lanao and Balindog wih 17 each.
He added five of the victims died, and were children aged 4 to 10 years.
Calica said that on Tuesday he will meet with all health workers, especially those from high-risk barangays to strengthen their campaign against the disease.
The meeting was set a week after the Center for Health Development (CHD) and other health officials in Region 12 conducted a random larvae survey in the city.
Calica said that although the results of the survey are still pending at the CHD-12 office, there were some areas in the city where health officials have noticed the presence of Aedes aegypti, the species of mosquito that commonly carries the virus that causes dengue.
“The campaign against dengue needs strong support from the community. The wrong notion is that the campaign against dengue is government’s sole responsibility, where in fact, it’s everybody’s concern,” said Calica in an interview over the city government’s “Let’s Go Kidapawan” radio program aired over Catholic-run DXND.
Research found that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes usually bite at dusk and dawn, indoors, in shady areas, or when the weather is cloudy.
There is no known cure for dengue, according to Tabugo.
Asked if the native grass “tawa-tawa” (Euphorbia hirta) can help cure dengue, Tabugo said, it is still “under research.”
“The Department of Health is not against the use of tawa-tawa, which is still under clinical trials pa. Pero ‘yung resulta is promising, parang walang problema dyan,” he clarified.
An article from the Philippine Council for Health Research Development said that based on the results of the study conducted in 2012 by students of the University of Santo Tomas – Faculty of Pharmacy, administering tawa-tawa decoction to animal subjects help improve their healing mechanism.
“Tawa-tawa was able to promote cell production, and prevents platelet destruction. Likewise, the improvement in the cell bleeding time and clotting time provided evidence that the indigenous plant can preserve and promote the hemostatic function of platelets,” the article said.
The study titled “Investigation of the anti-thrombocytopenic property of euphorbia hirta linn decoction in rat models” aimed to verify the effects of tawa-tawa decoction on a dengue hemorrhagic fever patient showing thrombocytopenia or low platelet count due to excessive bleeding. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)