Rama to CHD and CDRRMO: Make a comprehensive plan to fight polio, dengue
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama is concerned with the recent rise of diseases in the city from the poliovirus presence in the Butuan River to the increase in the fatality rate of dengue and the scare caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Rama said in a privilege speech in the regular session of the City Council on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, that the appearance of the Covid-19 has caused panic among the public.
The vice mayor, who also chairs the city council’s committee on health, said that poliovirus and dengue must also be given the same importance as the Covid-19 since they also threaten the health of the public.
“Kung kita nahadlok sa coronavirus, ato sab hatagan ug pagtagad and poliovirus ug ang dengue virus kay ug maulahi ta, mag-ihap ta ug patay,” said Rama.
(If we were scared with the coronavirus, we should pay attention to the poliovirus and dengue virus too, because if we act late, we may be counting deaths.)
On February 15, 2020, the Department of Health found traces of poliovirus in the Butuanon River.
Before that, the City Health Department (CHD) reported three deaths in the city due to dengue in January 2020, which is higher compared to January 2019’s two.
The unexpected rise of these diseases should be prepared for, says Rama, and he urged the CHD and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) to come up with a comprehensive plan to prevent and control the occurrence of polio and dengue.
Rama also urged the CHD for mass immunization against polio all over the city.
In recent statements, the CHD said they do not have enough vaccines for mass immunization. With this, Rama urged the CHD to immediately submit a detailed request for a budget from the council to purchase the said vaccines.
He said the council will approve the funds as long as the items are properly disclosed. This is to ensure that a slash of a budget will not happen, similar to the slashing of the budget for the preparation of the Covid-19 from P28 million to P15 million.
The CHD is yet to identify the amount they will need for the vaccines. /rcg
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