Since January 1 to June 15, 2019, the total number of dengue cases in Negros Oriental rose by more than 200 percent compared to the same period of last year. Cases on dengue are still expected to rise in the coming months.
Dengue Cases in Negros Oriental
The Department of Health (DOH)– Negros Oriental stated on their last count that a total of 1,469 cases and five deaths have been reported from different parts of Negros Oriental. According to Dr. Socrates Villamore (DOH Provincial Chief), the figure is higher by 253 percent compared to the 416 cases and five deaths recorded during the same period last year.
The others in the list are Sibulan (178 cases); Bais City (120); Guihulngan City (104); Siaton (89); Tanjay City (82); Vallehermoso (78); Santa Catalina (75); Manjuyod (64); and Basay (56). There are at least three barangays in the province that are being closely monitored for a possible declaration of a “dengue outbreak”. These are the “critical” villages of Poblacion (7 cases) and Bal-os (18) in Basay and Inapoy (18) in Mabinay, where cases were reported from May 19 to June 15, DOH-Negros Oriental records show.
4-S Strategy Against Dengue
Dr. Socrates Villamore warns that the number of dengue cases in the province is also expected to rise this rainy season. He called on the people to participate in implementing anti-dengue measures, such as the so-called 4-S strategy. These include Search-and-Destroy activities of mosquito-breeding grounds as well as maintaining cleanliness in the household, Self-Protection measures such as wearing long pants and using insect repellent lotion, Seeking early doctor’s consultation following the manifestation of symptoms, and Saying No to fogging unless in the event of an outbreak.
On top of this, the year 2019 is on the third-year cycle of being an ‘epidemic’ year, although thankfully, there is still no indication that the province will reach this stage,” Villamor said.
In 2016, the province of Negros Oriental reported the highest number of dengue cases within a 10-year period since 2009, pegged at 5,760 with four deaths. Meanwhile, the local government unit (LGU) of Sibulan is undertaking different measures to prevent a further rise in the number of dengue cases. Dr. Jan Sibala, municipal health officer, said that teams are now going around conducting information and awareness campaign as well as distributing mosquito nets treated with chemicals.
Sibala said as of the latest count since January this year, Barangay Maslog has the highest number of cases at 50; followed by Boloc-boloc (28); Cangmating and Magatas (20 cases each); Tubtobon (19); Agan-an (nine cases with one death); Ajong and Poblacion (seven each); Balugo and Looc (four each); and San Antonio and Tubigon (three cases each).
Only two villages — Calabnugan and Enrique Villanueva – have no dengue case reported,” she said.
Sibala said they conducted an entomological survey to investigate areas with dengue cases and have fielded nurses, midwives, and barangay health workers on a house-to-house campaign to check on the presence of stagnant water in containers and “kiti-kiti” or mosquito larvae.
The doctor lamented that while the chemicals for the impregnation of mosquito nets are given for free, some residents have not heeded the call to proceed to their assigned areas for this. They have also provided chemically-treated mosquito nets to schools such as those in Maslog, Sibala said.
Early this year, the Sibulan LGU also conducted a mass blood donation for dengue patients and another is scheduled on July 11, she added. Sibala called on Sibulan residents to cooperate with authorities, stressing that “prevention is better than cure”. They will continue with the entomological survey in the coming weeks as well, she said.