DOH-ARMM underscores youth, community's role in dengue prevention

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News -

COTABATO CITY - The Department of Health in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOHARMM) underscores the role of the youth and the community in addressing health issues such as dengue.

Dr. Kadil Sinolinding, DOH-ARMM Secretary, said dengue is a year round public health threat and the number of dengue cases in the region is expected to increase especially now that the wet season has started.

“The number of dengue cases was down (from last year’s figures). However, DOH-ARMM will not be confident and will continue its campaign to control and prevent this disease,” he said.

The DOH-ARMM has recorded 78 dengue cases with one fatality in the entire region during the first quarter. The number is significantly lower compared with the first quarter of 2015, where 487 cases with five fatalities were reported. This year’s figures indicated roughly an 84% decline in the number of cases.

The agency has recorded a total of 2,376 cases with 24 deaths across the region in 2015. Marawi City recorded the highest number of cases with 758 followed by Maguindanao province with 614 cases.

Dr. Sinolinding emphasized that the key to control and to prevent the spread of the disease is correct information relayed to residents. He said a massive information drive, including symposiums, will be conducted in public schools in the region to create awareness among the members of the community.

On June 22, DOHARMM in coordination with the region’s Department of Education (DEPED-ARMM) held a dengue symposium at Tenorio Elementary School in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. The activity was in line with the celebration of the ASEAN Dengue Day and was attended by around 200 Grade 6 students along with teachers and school nurses from DEPED-ARMM.

Dr. Sinolinding said the information drive targets public school children since they are the most vulnerable sector in the population because of their exposure to the environment where cases of dengue exist.

“Binibigyan natin sila ng sapat na kaalaman upang maiwasan, ma-control at magawaan ng paraan kung sakaling ito (dengue) ay pumasok sa kanilang mga tahanan o kaya sila ay maging pasyente (We are giving them enough knowledge to prevent, control, and to make ways if ever this disease will penetrate their households or if they will become the victims),” he said.

“Ang mga impormasyon na makukuha nila ay pwede nilang ipasa sa kanilang mga kaibigan, kapitbahay, kapamilya, at sino man sa kanilang komunidad (They can spread the information they will acquire to their friends, neighbors, family members, and to anyone in their community),” he added.

Aside from the symposium, the agency also distributed five Olyset mosquito net rolls to the school. Each roll is 25 meters long and can cover up to six classroom windows.

Dr. Sinolinding said that the symposium is just the beginning of the campaign. DOH-ARMM will tap local government units for continuous education and campaign. Furthermore, he encouraged the residents in ARMM to observe the ‘4S’ in dengue prevention and control. The ‘4S’ means: • Search and destroy; • Seek immediate action;

• Say no to indiscriminate fogging; and

• Self-protection measures.

Dengue is an acute viral infection acquired from the bite of a female Aedes aegypti mosquito. This fatal disease usually affects infants and children in tropical and subtropical countries like the Philippines.

Its signs and symptoms include fever that extends from two to seven days, skin flushing, loss of appetite, vomiting, and in severe cases, nose bleeding and bleeding of gums.

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