ALMOST 5,000 employees of the Cebu City Government spent part of their Sunday morning spreading chemicals to help prevent dengue fever in 49 urban barangays.
The City has also ordered that all 32 ambulances of the emergency medical service be ready to help residents suffering from fever, so they can be tested and treated.
Cebu City has recorded 868 dengue fever cases since January this year. Eleven persons have died.
In an interview, Cebu City Health Department (CHD) chief Dr. Daisy Villa said the widespread application of larvicide was one of several measures to prevent more dengue cases. She said the chemicals were placed in areas where the dengue-carrying mosquitoes may breed, such as canals and containers.
The larvicide can stay effective for up to four months in stagnant water, Villa said. It’s meant to kill larvae before these can
develop into adult mosquitoes.
Employees from different departments of City Hall were deployed to the barangays to apply the larvicide. Their department heads led them.
Mayor Michael Rama went to Barangay Pasil to participate in the activity. “I thank the employees for giving their service on a Sunday morning. It turned out to be successful,” Rama said.
Before they started, all participants gathered in the Cebu Coliseum and were briefed by Villa on the importance of the activity.
It was in partnership with Rotary Club 3860, which provided the chemicals.
After that, Villa said the City will target adult mosquitoes by conducting misting operations and treating curtains. She encouraged households to do their share by cleaning their surroundings.
“Manlimpyo lang gyud. Dapat ma-sustain sa barangays and communities ang cleanliness sa areas para dili mapunduhan og lamok (We need to keep our barangays and communities clean so that the mosquitoes won’t breed there),” she said.
Tumulak, who presides over the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRMC), urged the public to have themselves checked right away if they experience fever.
CHD satellite laboratories in Barangays Punta Princesa, Guadalupe, Mabolo, Parian, Poblacion Pardo, Luz are open from Mondays to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are ready to perform exams such as complete blood counts (CBC) for free.
CCDRMC has also declared the city under a state of preparedness.
On Wednesday, Tumulak said, he will sponsor a resolution for the City Council to make a similar declaration.
As of last month, CCDRMC has given the city health department P4.5 million for its dengue responses.
Though an increase in dengue cases is evident, Villa said there is no need to augment their funds since they are also getting help from the Department of Health.
More than 120 kilometers north of the city, another community is also in the midst of a campaign against dengue fever.
Although the town has not declared a state of calamity, Daanbantayan received assistance from the Capitol and a private individual for residents affected by dengue.
Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro said that the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDDRM) Office and Provincial Health Office (PHO) conducted another round of misting activities over the weekend.
Corro said there were almost 80 dengue cases in his town since mid-August up to last Saturday.
An abrupt increase of 18 dengue cases was recorded in the Municipal Health Office of Daanbantayan from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.
Corro called on barangay health workers, tanods and officials to conduct a massive clean-up drive to eliminate the breeding sites of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
Dengue cases are particularly high in Barangays Poblacion and Agujo.
The Capitol has sent three misting machines to the town, whose schools have requested misting operations to protect their pupils.
Corro said that Dr. Wyben Briones also went to the town to assist them.
“Anyway, since the council disapproved the resolution declaring the town under a state of calamity, we just looked for ways to address the abrupt rise of dengue cases. I immediately called PHO head Dr. Cynthia Genosolango and PDRRM Officer Baltazar Tribunalo and they acted accordingly,” he said in a phone interview.
He said the municipal DRRM Council recommended to the municipal council a resolution declaring the town under a state of calamity, so the town can use its quick response funds.
Instead, the municipal council authorized Mayor Corro to purchase misting machines.
Corro said he wasn’t comfortable with the decision, because he needs to act fast against dengue fever but would have to get the council’s permission every time dengue-prevention supplies are needed.