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Dengue cases on the rise, overtake last year’s total

Statistics from Ormoc City Health Office shows dengue cases this year have dramatically increased and even doubled compared to 2013. 

For the period January to July, this year, the city already posted 792 cases compared to 305 last year for the same period.

As of press time (August 18, 2014), Ormoc has already recorded 810 cases compared to last year’s total of only 442. 

Last year’s recorded death due to dengue were 6 while this year’s is already 4. The most recent were two deaths from Brgy. Curva and Brgy. San Pablo, just last July.

The City Health Office is now prioritizing barangays with high cases of dengue in the application of Temephos, an organic larvicidal. This larvicide kills larvae of mosquitoes, unlike the traditional fogging which only temporarily drives away adult mosquitoes but may later on come back or just transfer to the next village.

“It was the (two) Rotary Club(s) of Ormoc who introduced Temephos to us on October last year. In fact, sila jud toy nag lead, they just coordinated with us. They even gave orientation to Brgy. Chairmen”, said Dr. Ma. Lourdes Lampong, City Health Officer I. She said the Rotary Club of Ormoc and the Rotary Club of Ormoc Bay adopted a simultaneous strategy in applying Temephos in the top 10 barangays with highest incidence of dengue.

Dr. Lampong said they also have an appointed personnel who gets the number of dengue cases confined in the various hospitals here everyday, apart from the report sent in by the six district health centers in Ormoc.

For dengue, the City Health Office appeals to the public that when fever exceeds 3 days, they should immediately seek consultation. The city has six Health districts: Cogon, Valencia, San Pablo, Linao, Ipil, and Curva.

Dr. Lampong emphasized early detection is the key to management of dengue, which does not have a cure or a vaccine until now. She added that children are least resistant to the infection and prone to hemorrhagic type. “The most effective and less expensive way to combat dengue is the ‘Search and Destroy’”, she said, which means just simply cleaning the surroundings.

“Dengue control lies in the hand of the community”, she added.

Currently, the City Health Office is “still requesting additional larvicide from the DOH-8 because it is not included in the regular budget of LGU,” Dr. Lampong said.

Larvicide that the LGU got from the Department of Health have already been turned-over to the barangays but the supply is not enough. The larvicide application at the barangay level is headed by Mr. Niño Quilantang. Some iNGOs also supported the program by providing manpower.

City councilor Mario Rodriguez, a medical doctor and the chairman of the committee on health, on the other hand, said a supplemental budget for the purchase of larvicide was already approved early this year but added “procurement usually takes time.”

Rodriguez said he is aware of the apparent rise of dengue cases in the city as he gets monthly reports from the City Health Office, adding he is closely monitoring the CHO in its programs and coordinates with other agencies “especially the Rotary Clubs who are very active.”

“The City Health has already been doing their part, fogging everyday and all, however, our programs have limitations,” Rodriguez said. “At the end of the day, it always boils down to the general public cooperating by cleaning their surroundings. We just have to get people involved”.

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