SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao (MindaNews / 24 Aug) – Health authorities in Maguindanao have expressed alarm over the rising dengue cases in the province, which to date have recorded six deaths due to the mosquito-borne disease that officials say was supposed to be preventable.
Dr. Tahir Sulaik, Maguindanao health chief and head of the Integrated Provincial health Office (IPHO), said that from January to the first week of August, 428 dengue cases have been reported, about six percent higher as compared to the same period last year.
To prevent an outbreak of the disease, Sulaik has urged provincial and municipal government units to help in the campaign to eradicate dengue.
“Let’s not wait that they [dengue victims] will arrive in the hospitals hopeless and almost on the brink of death,” he said.
Sulaik said he was saddened of reports from health providers in the field that about 90 percent of the dengue patients now confined in various hospitals in the province and in Cotabato City were already in critical stage when they sought medical attention.
“This is very alarming, considering this is 6 percent higher than the previous year’s record,” he said.
The health official said that they may need to strengthen their information and education campaign on how to prevent dengue, and urged patients to seek early treatment. “If you have high fever for two days, please go to the hospital immediately,” Sulaik suggested.
The municipality of Parang has the highest number of dengue incidents – 18 percent of the total number of cases from all over the province.
Maguindanao, a component province of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), has 36 municipalities. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)