GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 August) – The Department of Education (DepEd) in Region 12 has ordered the integration of anti-dengue measures in classroom instruction in local public schools in the wake of the national epidemic declared by the Department of Health (DOH).
Dr. Allan Farnazo, DepEd-12 director, said the move is part of their efforts to help contain the spread of the deadly dengue fever and prevent more infection among learners in the region.
As a preventive measure, he directed the rollout of the “Enhanced 4S Against Dengue” in all elementary and high schools in the region.
“The key to successful implementation of this intervention is when it is integrated in the teaching and learning process so learners would be able to really internalize the concepts being introduced,” Farnazo noted in a memorandum relayed on Tuesday to DepEd division offices.
He said the integration of such interventions “can be done primarily in lessons in Science and other related subjects, which are deemed applicable.”
The official said the enhanced 4-S campaign in schools mainly aims to maximize the efforts of all schools and stakeholders to initiate mechanisms for its full institutionalization.
It calls for everyone to become prime movers in controlling mosquito population and avoiding any possible dengue-caused deaths within the community, he said.
The 4-S strategy, which was set by the DOH, stands for search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites; secure self-protection measures like wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and daily use of mosquito repellent; seek early consultation; and, support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak.
Farnazo urged school heads to coordinate with local stakeholders, especially the Parents Teachers Associations, and find ways on how to allocate necessary funds to implement the advocacy program.
He said the funds may be used for the reproduction of posters highlighting the “Enhanced 4S Against Dengue” for display in every classroom, conduct of symposium for parents, purchase of mosquito repellant, among others.
The official said they should ensure that every faculty member understands the program strategies “so they could effectively share it to the parents and other schools’ stakeholders.”
The DOH already recorded a total of 11,745 dengue cases, with 53 deaths, in the entire region from Jan. 1 to July 30.
South Cotabato topped the list with 4,002 cases, followed by North Cotabato with 3,767, Sultan Kudarat with 1,876, Sarangani with 1,005, General Santos City with 614 and Cotabato City, which is now part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, with 481.
South Cotabato province declared a state of calamity last July 19 due to the dengue outbreak. (MindaNews)