MAYOR Michael Rama instructed Cebu City Medical Center’s (CCMC) chief to add more beds at the pediatric ward, after seeing yesterday afternoon that two to three dengue patients occupied one bed.

To sustain the free dengue treatment, CCMC Chief Dr. Myrna Go requested the mayor for additional funds, since they have started to run out of supplies and antibiotics.

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During his visit to the hospital yesterday, Rama told Go to see to it that there will only be one patient on each bed. He also gave instructions for the pediatric ward on the third floor to be expanded into the adjacent auditorium, if necessary.

Three beds were immediately added to the 35 beds at the pediatric ward, where patients with dengue, gastroenteritis, pneumonia and other illnesses were admitted.

CCMC’s admission of dengue patients reached its peak late last week, with 27 patients last Saturday. The number decreased to 22 yesterday, after some children recovered from dengue.

Rama assured the public the City will continue to provide free laboratory tests to all suspected dengue patients, including the complete blood count.

Those who will be confirmed to have dengue will also get free treatment at the city hospital, the mayor said.

Go said, however, that they have run out of antibiotics, that is why they have asked the patients to buy their own supply.

“Our memorandum has not changed, the dengue patients are still being treated for free.

Pero ang wala namo na supplies or medicines, paliton gyud sa gawas sa patient (But they have to buy the supplies or medicines we have run out of). Usually, with dengue, we just need IV fluids but when there are complications, that’s when the patients would need antibiotics,” she told reporters yesterday.

Rama visited the hospital yesterday to check the situation at the ward, and discussed with Go and Dr. Lee James Maratas how to improve the bed-to-patient ratio.

While he lamented the overcrowding in the hospital, he said it is also an indication that there is an increased awareness on dengue prevention, which includes early detection and consultation.

“I have instructed Dr. Go to add more beds here and to anticipate that if there is extraordinary confinement of children, we should use even the auditorium,” the mayor said.

The City Health Department has recorded 820 dengue fever cases, with nine deaths as of last week.

Expected

In a CCTN TV interview yesterday, Maratas said he does not consider the number alarming yet.

“Expected nato na musaka ang number because we are now into the rainy season, so this is not alarming. When you say alarming, kanang daghan nang patay due to dengue,” said Maratas, CCMC’s pediatric ward consultant.

Maratas and Go said they will be able to add more beds, since there are some unused beds in the different departments.

“We will find a way. We will look for spare beds,” he added.

While the parents of one patient complained about the delay in the admission of their child and at one point being allegedly berated by a hospital staff, parents of other patients said they are grateful to the doctors and nurses for saving their children’s lives.

Hermihinildo Suaso said yesterday that they were given the runaround when they brought their three-year-old daughter to the emergency room last Saturday night.

One of the staff prodded them to buy IV fluids, he said, and when they told her that they did not have money yet and could only buy it the following day, his wife was reportedly berated.

“Nihangyo mi na pagkaugma na lang kay wala na gyud mi’y kwarta unya giingnan mi na dili pwede mao tong nangita mi ug paagi.

Kato na hinoong nakapalit na mi, wala man hinoon nila gidapat unya karong ingnan mi na pailisan pa gyud (We told them we could not buy anything until the next day because we had no money, but we were forced to find a way. When we bought the fluids, these were not used and now they have told us to get more),” said Suaso, whose child was having difficulty breathing yesterday.

Care

But Marivic Warque said she is satisfied with the service of the city hospital and with the dedication of the staff in caring for her eight-year-old son, who is already recovering from dengue.

She said she can understand that some of the pediatric ward staff would lose their temper because of the large number of patients they have to attend to.

“Maayo ra gyud ang ilang pagtagad sa mga bata. Daghan ra gyud kaayog pasyente mao ng dili malikayan na naay sapoton, pero maayo gyud sila. Wala silay balibaran ug regular gyud ilang monitoring sa mga bata (They treat the children well. There are just so many patients that it’s understandable for them to be short-fused, but generally, they are good. They monitor the children regularly),” Warque added.

Potholes

Concern over dengue fever has prompted an order for city engineering personnel in Talisay City to inspect potholes, as these could also be possible sources of dengue-carrying mosquitoes, said City Hall spokesman Arturo Bas.

In Barangay San Roque, village officials also advised a resident in Sitio Kimba to get rid of water in a stock of used tires.

Another child was reported to have been afflicted with dengue in San Roque but Barangay Councilor Elizabeth Mangaron could not confirm it yet as of press time.

San Roque barangay officials have prepared a letter asking City Hall’s anti-dengue task force to conduct misting operations in the village.

Bas said the possibility that potholes could be breeding sites of dengue mosquitoes was tackled during the regular department heads’ meeting yesterday morning.

The Talisay City Health Office reported at least 137 dengue cases and three deaths from January to August this year. The three who died were all children from Barangay Tapul, Cansojong and Lawaan 3. (LCR/GC)