Davide urged to declare dengue outbreak in Cebu

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Nestle L. Semilla October 07,2016 - 11:50 PM

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With nearly 15,000 dengue cases in Cebu province from Jan. 1 to Sept. 24 this year, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) is asking Gov. Hilario Davide III to declare a dengue outbreak in the province.

Davide said yesterday that he received a letter from Dr. Rene Catan asking him to declare the outbreak.

But he said that before he could declare a dengue outbreak he would need the approval of the Cebu Provincial Board.

The PHO chief’s request came after the PHO succeeded in making the Provincial Risk Reduction Management Council to classify the surge in dengue cases in the province as a disaster during last Thursday’s 3rd quarter meeting of the council.

Dr. Ismael Pastor, PHO public health head, who represented the PHO in the meeting, cited the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit in Central Visayas (Resu-7) report which showed that Cebu province had 14,846 dengue cases in a nine month period this year as compared to only 6,420 cases in the same period last year.

Pastor said this was a 140 percent surge in dengue cases as compared to last year.

Aside from that, 13 towns and cities are in the Resu-7’s top 20 list of municipalities and cities with dengue cases and deaths in the region this year.

These data helped Pastor to convince the PDRRMC to classify the increase in dengue cases as a disaster which would bring in the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) to the province’s anti-dengue drive.

With the dengue trend classified as a disaster, the PDRRMO could help allocate funds for the PHO’s anti-dengue drive and could provide the needed manpower in implementing its anti-dengue programs, which would include misting operations.

Julius Regner, PDRRMO information officer, for his part, said that the office would be setting aside a P1 million budget this year to help the PHO’s campaign against dengue.

Regner said that they already received a request from the PHO to help them in the purchase of misting machines.

The PHO has four misting machines but Pastor said that only two of the machines are working.

He said that they would need money to buy the machine, which is worth P50,000.

Regner, however, said that the PDRRMO would still study what kind of assistance they could extend to the PHO.

But according to Resu-7, misting is not the ultimate solution to address the increase in dengue cases in Cebu province.

Rennan Cimafranca, chief of Regional Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit (Resu-7), said that eradication of containers is the solution to end the breeding site of mosquitoes.

“In misting, it can only kill adult mosquitoes while its eggs, larvae and pupa remain,” Cimafranca told Cebu Daily News.

Misting is a process where a machine is used to release smoke to kill mosquitoes.

Cimafranca also said that he respected the PHO for pushing for a declaration of a dengue outbreak in the province.

But he said in epidemiology, an outbreak is a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in a particular time and place.
“The province and the local government unit can also declare an outbreak,” said Cimafranca.

He however said this would be the first time that a province-wide outbreak was being considered.

Kasagaran barangay level ang atong tan-awon og asa moy pinaka apektado na area. I don’t know the reason why they considered it as province wide,” he said.

The last time Resu-7 declared dengue outbreak was in 2014 in Barangay Buanoy, Balamban, midwest Cebu.

For 2016, Resu-7 of Department of Health (DOH-7) has not declared an outbreak in any areas in Cebu.

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TAGS: Department of Health, Department of Health in Central Visayas, DOH, DOH-7, PHO, Provincial Risk Reduction Management Council, Public Health Council, Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit in Central Visayas, RESU, RESU-7

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