By Lalaine M. Jimenea
AS THE rainy season continues, the dreaded dengue has claimed another victim last week. This was learned from surveillance nurse Elsie Jaca of the City Health Office.
Ms. Jaca said that the recent fatality comes from Sitio Cantalib in Brgy. Cogon, a village that has long been positive for dengue. The nurse said that while the number of dengue victims this
year is not yet high, “and has not reached the epidemic threshold,” they have already recorded three deaths from January to July. According to her, the CHO has recorded 298 infected cases:
79 in January, 44 in February, 35 in March, 31 in April, 35 in May, 44 in June and 29 in July. Dengue claimed a life each in January, June and July.
Hence, Jaca said, they are once more advocating for the early consultation of possible dengue cases. Once a child is feverish, she said, they should immediately be brought for consultation to determine if they have dengue or not. On the prevention side, she added, the City Health’s vector control team headed by Niño Quilantang is going around the city’s villages to determine the vector index. There are 33 villages in Ormoc that are positive for dengue.
Nurse Elsie Jaca is also incharge of the City Health’s vaccination program. She said that the school-based immunization program that they usually do on August might be delayed because their office is busy with monitoring the evacuation centers.
They also don’t have stocks of the Flu vaccine for senior citizens, as the supply from the national Department of Health has not yet arrived. Usually, she said, stocks arrive in July or August, but they have not yet received word when it would come.
However, she said their office has stocks of Pneumonia vaccine, which are dispensed to senior citizens at age 60 and 65. She invited senior citizens to come over to their office or the district health centers if they have not yet been vaccinated.
She also said that the once expensive anti-cervical cancer vaccine is now being freely given to Grade 4 girls.
While she is not the nurse-in-charge for the Rabies Control Program, Jaca said their office has ample supply of anti-rabies vaccines. She clarified that the vaccination for simple bites or category 2 is absolutely for free, as long as they have stocks.
As for the passive vaccines that “big, head and neck bites” (category 3) need, their office has 326 vials in stock yet.
However, Jaca explained, that they could only give one vial for each animal bite victim. The rest of what they need would have to be bought from outside. A vial, she said, costs P 6,000.00 each and depending on body weight, one bite victim might need vial to four vials. If they need more than 1, then what the City Health can give is only the first vial.
Jaca said she is proud to say that Ormoc is one of the LGUs that buys rabies vaccines for its constituents. This year, she said, the city allocated P 1.4-million for the vaccines alone, however, she added this was not enough. The city has already recorded 2,053 bites since January.