GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 August) – The city government has allotted an initial P5.8 million to augment its continuing interventions against the deadly dengue fever.
City Councilor Rosalita Nuñez, chair of the council’s committee on health and sanitation, said Tuesday such funding would be utilized for the purchase of medicine and the needed equipment and chemicals for the anti-dengue operations in local communities.
She said the funds, as proposed by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), will be drawn from the quick response component of the Local DRRM or calamity fund.
The CDRRMC, headed by City Mayor Ronnel Rivera, recommended last Friday the declaration of the city under a state of calamity due to the rising dengue cases.
“That is just the initial funding. We can increase it to P15 million later on if needed,” Nuñez said in a radio interview.
Based on a report from the City Health Office’s epidemiology and surveillance unit, the recorded dengue cases from Jan. 1 to Aug. 9 within the city’s 26 barangays had already reached 791, with three deaths.
Such figure is 45 percent higher compared to the 544 cases recorded in the same period last year.
Nuñez said the dengue incidence in the city may not be considered as alarming as with the cases in other areas but noted that they should not be complacent about it.
She said the Department of Health, through Secretary Francisco Duque, had warned that the dengue outbreak could still intensify in the coming months.
“The heaviest occurrence of dengue is not now but reportedly in October based on its cycle. So we have to be ready,” she said.
Nuñez urged residents to continue with the regular cleanup activities in the community and household levels, especially the “4 o’ clock habit,” and the observance of the DOH’s 4-S strategy against dengue.
The 4-S strategy 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.
She said Mayor Rivera has ordered barangay councils to properly implement Ordinance No. 7, series of 2014, which provides for the “Prevention, Control, Reduction and Mitigation of Mosquito Vector of Dengue in the City of General Santos, Penalizing Violators thereof and for Other Purposes.”
“It focuses on the search and destroy strategy. Areas that have mosquito breeding places should be subjected to misting operations,” she added. (MindaNews)