THE HEALTH sector in Western Visayas, which registered the highest number of dengue cases amid a nationwide dengue alert declaration, is focusing resources to respond to patients. Marlyn W. Convocar, regional director of the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DoH-CHD 6), said 228 health personnel composed of 24 medical technologists, 16 doctors and 189 nurses have been deployed around the region to monitor and respond to cases of the mosquito-borne disease. Emergency equipment have also been purchased for distribution to different areas. “The Philippine Red Cross has offered additional beds for the district hospitals. All the private hospitals have also agreed that they will accept all dengue patients from district and provincial hospitals provided that they secure a certification from the provincial hospital,” Ms. Convocar said. Ms. Convocar also said that they had a video conference Monday with Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque, who assured full support from the DoH central office and committed to send 18,375 test kits and additional IV fluids supply. Mr. Duque also approved the request of Ms. Convocar to delay the implementation of the school-based immunization program by two months and order a moratorium on trainings so that human resources could gear their efforts on the dengue outbreak.
At the same time, Ms. Convocar reiterated the appeal for full public cooperation through regular clean-up activities to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. “We should really clean our surroundings and make sure that there is no stagnant water. Let’s not also forget to practice 4-S. If we do this all together, we can stop this dengue outbreak,” she said. The 4-S campaign stands for Search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites; secure Self-protection measures like wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts and daily use of mosquito repellent;Seek early consultation; and Support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo