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PIA Press Release

DOH re-launches anti-dengue program to stop uptrend in cases

by Babes J. Rebultan

Cagayan de Oro City (29 February) -- "PUGSAIN Ang Kiti-Kiti, Sugpuin Ang Dengue!" is this year's slogan of the Department of Health in its nationwide launching of the 2008 dengue awareness campaign, according to a DOH official from Manila during the re-launching of the Dengue Prevention Program here in Cagayan de Oro City recently.

Director Yolanda Oliveros of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control of DOH Manila said we have to intensify the campaign against dengue because of the increasing trend or cases of dengue in the country.

She said to fight and prevent the proliferation of dengue, DOH has recommended the "4S" or four measures people should undertake and foremost of these is to Search and destroy the breeding places of the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes.

The other three, she enumerated, are Self-protection or people should wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, use mosquito repellants, etc.; Seek early consultation by visiting the nearest Barangay Health Centers or hospitals when fever is felt two or more days; and Say no to indiscriminate fogging except when there is dengue outbreak.

She said last year the dengue campaign was not only launched in the Philippines but also in other countries, including neighboring countries in Asia like Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore.

Dengue is of international concern because it is not only increasing during the rainy season but whole year round.

For the past three years, she added, dengue cases increased in January to December, so it is no longer seasonal but already cyclical.

Urbanization and global warming contribute to the propagation of dengue-carrying mosquitoes, wherein breeding sites could be found in the construction sites, in school premises, in surroundings and backyards, among others.

To prevent the resurgence and outbreak of dengue, we have to advocate to the people for them to always search and destroy the breeding sites of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes, she explained.

"Walang bakuna na panlaban sa dengue, wala ring specific na gamot or anti-viral agent na panlaban sa dengue," Dr. Oliveros warned.

That's why, she said, we have to intensify our campaign against dengue by collaborating with the local government units, Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Local Government Units (DILG) since we cannot do it effectively alone.

Our campaign is focused also on children since 50% of dengue cases involved children. We want children to develop that habit of cleanliness in schools or in their households, she added.

"Kahit baby, pweding magka-dengue, kahit malalaki na, maaring magka dengue," she uttered, adding that parents should be taught or educated on how to prevent dengue.

The DOH or the government is not only looking on the health of people but also on the financial or economic aspect because they will spend more if they get sick of dengue, she also added.

Aside from their intensive campaign for the prevention of dengue, they are also intensifying the advocacy in the strengthening of the "Voluntary Blood Donation Program." The problem of dengue victims arise if there is no available blood supply, Dr. Oliveros explained.

Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar S. Moreno, who also graced the re-launching of the Dengue Prevention Program, said "It is important that we work together for no one can do it more effectively but the people themselves."

He said the provincial government of Misamis Oriental is very supportive of the program and wants the anti-dengue program to be sustainable. (PIA-MisOrOccCam) [top]

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