THE Provincial Government will open on Friday its Dengue Hotline to immediately respond to the needs of dengue patients following the 13 fatalities recorded in the province of Negros Occidental.

Board Member Melvin Ibañez, chairperson of the reactivated Task Force Dengue, said Wednesday the dengue hotline will start operating on Friday and will be available 24 hours and seven days a week. It will answer the needs of dengue patients like blood supply.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency  

 

But Ibanez stressed that only those patients with doctor’s certification can avail of free blood supply from the task force. 

 

The Philippine National Red Cross, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, and the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental will sign next week a memorandum of agreement on free blood supply for indigent dengue patients, Ibañez said. 

 

The task force will also coordinate with the Provincial Health Office (PHO), which is monitoring dengue cases in all towns and cities in the province, Ibañez added. 

 

Based on the PHO report, dengue cases in the province have increased from 532 last year to 1,644 cases in the same period from January 1 to July 24 this year. This year’s numbers represent an increase of 209 percent.  

The PHO report added that 13 persons died from dengue this year, while there were 12 persons died from dengue during the same period last year. 

 

Five of the fatalities this year were from Himamaylan City, and one each from the cities of Silay, Talisay, Cadiz, Kabankalan, Bago, Sipalay, and San Carlos. Another fatality was recorded in Murcia town. 

 

Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. has ordered the reactivation of Task Force Dengue through Executive Order 10-013 amid the strong possibility of a dengue outbreak in Negros Occidental. 

 

Marañon said that dengue cases have become a perennial problem in the province, especially with the onset of the rainy season. 

 

Task Force Dengue or “Bantay Lamok” was created and organized in 2007. 

 

From a budget of P250,000 in 2008, the Task Force Dengue now has an “open” budget of P500,000, which can be replenished as soon as it is already spent, Ibanez said.

Ibanez is co-chaired by Provincial Health Officer Ernell Tumimbang at the Dengue Task Force.

Other members of the task force are representatives from the Philippine Red Cross, Inter-Local Health Zone, the Department of Health, and civic organizations. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)