Davao City tops dengue incidence in Region 11

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 March)- This city posted the most number of dengue cases in the Davao Region last year, a Department of Health (DOH) official said.

Engr. Antonieta Ebol, DOH Center for Health Development program manager for contagious diseases, said the total recorded cases in the city in 2013 reached 6,283, about 67% of the total recorded cases in the region.

The city also has the highest distribution of dengue death cases in 2013, the DOH reported.

As of February 2014, 214 dengue cases were recorded in the city, two of them dying from the disease, it added.

The DOH identified the five dengue hotspots in the city last year as Talomo North and South, Buhangin, Calinan and Toril.

Talomo South had the highest cases of dengue in 2013 with 1,080 cases, Toril with 816 and the other hotspots with at least 700 cases.

Ebol said the peaks in recorded cases from across all barangays in Davao City correlate with the rainy season, mostly in June and July for both 2012 and 2013.

Agapito Hornido, Davao del Norte provincial health officer, said that dengue figures are usually higher in highly urbanized cities such as Davao City.

At a press briefing on dengue held at the Big 8 Corporate Hotel in Tagum City, Hornido said Davao del Norte’s dengue cases reached 2,930, with one recorded death, last year.

Ebol said that 234 of that dengue cases were considered severe.

In Compostela Valley, provincial health office coordinator Eduardo Humol said the province had 1,224 cases in 2013.

There were eight recorded deaths in 2013, down from the 14 deaths recorded in 2012, Humol said.

Humol said that in their area, late referral was the usual cause for complications resulting to death.

Dengue is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Humol noted that barangays have an important role to play in the prevention of dengue, citing the example of the prevention and response mechanism applied via their Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue (ABKD) program through the barangay health workers and functionaries.

Meanwhile, anti-dengue advocate and pediatrician Dr. Richard Mata said the information campaign for Davao City’s 182 barangays has generated much interest among the barangay officials.

“We want to reach a wider audience of barangay officials who would inform their constituents to immediately seek medical attention in case symptoms appear,” he said.

Mata added that he was personally advocating against the use of ‘tawa-tawa’ and other “alternative” cures for dengue such as durian.

While these do help in some ways, they cannot cure dengue, he said, adding there is a need to seek immediate medical attention to avoid the condition of a patient from getting worse. (MindaNews)