Thursday, September 16, 2021

Benguet needs blood as dengue cases increase threefold

(File photo)

BAGUIO CITY – Medical practitioners here and in Benguet province have expressed concern over the increasing cases of dengue which also require blood transfusion.

Norelyn Aspiras, blood program coordinator at the City Health Services Office (HSO), on Thursday hopes the rise in dengue cases would have the accompanying increase in blood donation.

She said supply at the different blood banks in the city has been insufficient and even dropped when the pandemic struck.

"Kulang na kulang po ang supply natin at baka lalong magka problema lalo at nakikita natin ang pagtaas ng dengue kung saan may mga pasyente na nangangailangan ng blood transfusion (we lack supply and we might experience more shortage with the rise of dengue cases as some patients require blood transfusion)," she said.

She said they do not stop informing the public on the importance of blood donation. She said they also conduct mass blood donation activities to encourage donation among the public.

Aspiras said that with students in their homes, the usual blood donation activities in schools which are the top sources of blood supply, have been stopped. "We invite the public, please continue donating blood not only because your loved ones need it, but also because there are others who are in need," she said.

The City Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (HSO) reported that Baguio logged 416 dengue cases from January 1 to July 17 this year which is over threefold than the 103 cases recorded on the same period in 2020.

Dr. Donnabel Tubera-Panes, chief of the City Epidemiology and surveillance unit at HSO, on Wednesday said they have recorded five deaths during the period. She said clustering of cases was seen in 15 barangays.

"We saw that breeding grounds of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes thrived inside the homes, in clean water containers used by the family but are not stored properly," the doctor said.

The HSO earlier said they are reviving the "4:00 o'clock habit" campaign to increase the residents' awareness of the importance of cleanliness and eliminating possible breeding sites of mosquitoes.

In Benguet, the provincial health office also reported a total of 483 cases in different areas from January 1 to June 30 this year.

Dr. Nora Ruiz, Benguet Provincial Health officer, said this is higher than the 255 cases during the same period last year.

She said the clustering was recorded in five barangays in the municipality of Itogon; two barangays in Kabayan; four in La Trinidad; two in Mankayan and one in Tuba. Three deaths were recorded due to dengue.

The spike in cases has made the provincial government decide to reactivate the Provincial Dengue Task Force it created in 2019.

Governor Melchor Diclas said the task force will come up with long-term policies that will be imposed in the province as a measure to address the recurring problem of dengue. Baguio and Benguet which are contiguous areas saw that storage of water using drums, especially in areas where there is no regular supply were seen as the main reason for the spike in cases. (PNA)


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