GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 August) – Health personnel in Sarangani province remained alert against the deadly dengue fever even as the reported cases in the area have started to decrease these past weeks.
Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief, said there have been fewer cases of dengue infection recorded this month in the affected communities of the province’s seven municipalities.
He said their assessment showed that the disease already reached its peak based on their experience in previous outbreaks.
But he urged residents not to be complacent with the situation and continue with the dengue prevention measures, especially the regular cleanup activities in community and household levels.
“Our dengue cases have been actually going down, though it is still high when compared to the previous year,” he said in a radio interview.
A report from the PHO’s epidemiology and surveillance unit said the province’s dengue cases from Jan. 1 to Aug. 12 already reached a total of 1,267, with six deaths.
Such figure is 192.61 percent higher when compared to the 433 cases recorded in the same period in 2018.
The municipality of Maitum posted the most number of cases with 458, Glan with 203, Maasim with 157, Malungon with 155, Alabel with 125, Kiamba with 105 and Malapatan with 64.
Malungon and Maasim recorded two deaths due to dengue complications while Malapatan and Alabel posted one each.
Alejandro reiterated that it is important for residents to observe the 4-S strategy set by the Department of Health (DOH) until the disease is effectively contained.
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.
“This will really depend on the impact of how families or our households take care of their environment,” he said.
The official said the PHO has been continually augmenting the anti-dengue interventions at the municipal level, especially in terms of logistics and awareness campaigns.
He said they provided chemicals and other necessary supplies to the municipalities to assist the fogging activities.
Alejandro added that they also distributed insecticide-treated Olyset nets and curtains, which were provided by the DOH, to local schools. (MindaNews)