Wastes causing increase in dengue cases

Photo by Macky Lim

THE Davao City Health Office (CHO) attributed the increase in the number of dengue cases in city to improper waste segregation.

CHO technical division chief Doctor Julinda Acosta said stagnant water in unsegregated and unattended garbage can serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes.

Acosta said the city's garbage problem should be addressed properly, since it is both an environmental and health hazard.

"Simple cellophanes and wrappers na ginalabay bisan asa can store even a single drop of water. Labi na inig mag-ulan ta's magpondo ang tubig, labi na inig dili kini mayabo (Simple cellophanes and wrappers thrown anywhere can store even a single drop of water, especially when it rains, and the water stored will not be disposed right after)," she said.

Recently, the garbage problem of Davao City was voiced out by D' Bone Collector Museum director Darrell Blatchley when he posted on his Facebook last April 10 a photo of a canal in Barangay 37-D in Bucana, filled with plastics and other garbage.

On April 18, more than a week after he initiated the clean-up drive in some canals in the area, the situation still remains.

"Clearly, no matter how many clean-up initiatives by individuals or groups there will be, the problem will remain unsolved if people chose to be undisciplined and irresponsible -- or to put it simply and clearly -- DAMAK (dirty)," Blatchley said in his post.

Acosta said cleanup drives are useless, unless barangay officials would enforce their authority in addressing the problem.

"Responsibility ng barangay, with other concerned agencies na pagsabihan ang mga tao to do and practice waste segregation. Dapat continuous ang enforcement ng barangay captains in the sanitation side (Barangays, together with other concerned agencies are tasked to oblige residents to do and practice waste segregation. Continuous enforcement must be made by barangay captains in the sanitation side)," she said.

The health officer also said despite the warnings issued by the CHO-Tropical Diseases Unit and the Anti-Dengue Task Force of the barangay, there are some residents who do not comply with their recommendation in cleaning up their areas.

"Naa gyu'y mga gahig ulo nga households. Bisan sa pag-conduct namo'g surveillance, wherein naa mi makita nga mga uncovered containers and tires na naay stored water, dili gihapon nila ginalihok (There are stubborn residents. They do not take action despite our surveillance, telling them to dispose stored water from uncovered containers and tires)," Acosta said.

She said she wants uncooperative households to also be issued with sanitary order, same with business establishments.

However, Acosta said the CHO is unauthorized to issue such order. She is open to lobbying issuing a sanitary order to households to the City Council.

"Mao nang amo nalang ginahimo is to encourage gyud the households, especially in following the 4' o clock habit, nga manlimpyo gyud sila sa ilang mga tugkaran ug bungkagon mga possible breeding places sa lamok (We continue to encourage households in following the 4' o clock habit, in cleaning their areas and destroy possible breeding places of mosquitoes)," she said.

Acosta said she will raise the problem in one of their stakeholder meetings.


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