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DOH: 42,207 dengue cases, 193 deaths from January to 1st week of June


At least 42,207 dengue cases, 193 of them fatal, had been recorded from January to the first week of June this year, even as the Department of Health pushed for the "basics" of early prevention and community action.
 
The DOH's National Epidemiology Center said the total figure represents a one-percent decline, or 456 fewer cases, compared to the same period in 2012.
 
A breakdown of data showed that most of the dengue cases from Jan. 1 to June 8 were recorded in:
 
- Central Visayas (6,023 cases, 51-percent increase)
- Calabarzon (4,742, 17-percent decrease)
- Davao Region (4,364, 30-percent increase)
- Western Visayas (4,444, 102-percent increase)
- SOCCKSARGEN (3,963, 126-percent increase).
 
“Dengue needs urgent action and we need it now. In the absence of the usual cures and vaccines, we have to rely on the basics of early prevention and community action,” DOH Secretary Enrique Ona said on the department's Facebook page Friday.

Metro Manila had 3,073 cases or 6,208 fewer cases - a 67-percent decrease, with Quezon City having 617 cases or a 77-percent decrease; Manila with 542 cases or a 65-percent decrease; Caloocan with 345 cases or a 67-percent decrease; Parañaque with 188 cases or a 67-percent decrease; and Valenzuela with 186 cases or a 62-percent decrease.
 
Yet Ona reminded residents in areas that had fewer cases not to be complacent since dengue cases may peak in August and September.
 
The DOH also noted areas at high risk include urban centers where there is poor environmental management of household waste.
 
Community-based system
 
The DOH has called for a community-based, local government unit-initiated dengue control program starting in households.
 
Such a program reaches out to schools and other mosquito-dense areas in the community.
 
According to the DOH, dengue-carrying mosquitoes breed in artificial containers as well as old tires, puddles and empty coconut shells.
 
“The battle against dengue can be won right in our own backyards but this will not be easy for each one of us,” Ona said.
 
Multi-agency effort
 
The DOH entered into a pact with the Departments of Interior & Local Government (DILG), Science and Technology (DOST), and Education (DepEd) to work together in controlling dengue.
 
"DILG will lead all LGUs to implement the Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue in high-risk communities; DOST and DepEd together with DOH will scale up the home-grown ovi-larva (OL)-trap technology in selected, priority schools. The new set of local chief executives can easily make dengue control one of their top priorities," the DOH said.
 
On the other hand, the DOH noted 2013 is the third year since June 15 was declared ASEAN Dengue Day during the 10th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting in Singapore on July 22, 2010.
 
ASEAN Dengue Day promotes a shift from reactionary strategies to forward-planning and long-term prevention strategies.
 
Ona will spearhead the Philippines' ASEAN Dengue Day observance in Cebu, while Vietnam hosts all countries in the region in this year’s region-wide campaign.
 
4 o'clock habit
 
Earlier this year, the DOH relaunched the 4 o'clock habit where residents map out high risk areas in a locality, and organized teams to undertake critical response activities.
 
This also involves the "Stop, Look and Listen" system where "Stop" means dropping everything in favor of mosquito control.
 
"Look" means assigned teams carry out systematic “search and destroy” activities starting 4 p.m.
 
"Listen" means heeding instructions of local authorities, community leaders, or work supervisors for synchronous implementation of the 4 o’clock habit.
 
"This can be done on a daily basis, or at least on a weekly basis based on institutional capacity and prevailing resources," the DOH said.  — ELR, GMA News
Tags: dengue
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