WHO would have thought that a simple pair of pajama pants would not only be a comfortable sleepwear, but also a viable tool in battling a national epidemic like dengue?
For third district Provincial Board (PB) Member John Ismael Borgonia, this kind of clothes and other long garments could protect someone against disease-carrying mosquitoes despite being made of light materials.
It was for this reason that the neophyte legislator filed a resolution requesting the Department of Education 7 to allow public elementary and high school principals in the province to initiate the suspension of the wearing of school uniforms, if necessary.
Instead, students will be required to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, long socks or any other garments that will “add protection to the children as one of the preventive measures and control programs to combat the spread of dengue disease.”
The measure was approved by the PB in its regular session on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019.
“Not necessarily pajamas, but long pants such as, of course, pajamas and ‘malongs’ (traditional Filpino garb), long socks and any other garments that tend to cover the skin,” Borgonia said in an interview.
Borgonia said the initiative to suspend the wearing of uniforms will be given to principals instead of the schools division superintendent since the measure might not be applicable in all areas of the province.
“Since we’ve also specified the suspension of the wearing of uniforms, the intention should be to wear clothing that would protect them. Not necessarily that we suspend the wearing (of uniforms) and students will wear (a pair of) shorts instead. That would defeat the purpose of the measure,” he added.
The Department of Health (DOH) had declared a national dengue epidemic on Aug. 6, 2019.
Central Visayas, though, is outside the top seven regions that exceeded the dengue epidemic threshold.
Earlier, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the Province will be working closely with the DOH 7 and the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.
Households, schools and offices were also encouraged to intensify cleanup operations to destroy the breeding grounds of the disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Aside from this, rural health units were also tasked to conduct an entomology study to determine the presence of these mosquitoes and to conduct misting operations in the barangays.
Meanwhile, the DOH 7 dispelled the viral social media post about placing garlic on the orifice of a plastic bottle, saying this is not a mosquito repellent.
Dr. Ronald Jarvik Buscato, dengue program coordinator of the DOH 7, said there are no studies that would support the claim that garlic is an effective mosquito repellent. (with HBL of Superbalita Cebu/KAL)