PARISHIONERS of San Antonio de Padua Church in Nazareth mourned the passing of an assistant parish priest due to dengue fever on Wednesday.
Rev. Fr. Raul Bagongon, SSJV, died after five days of confinement in a hospital.
The City Health Office (CHO) urged the communities here to help fight the dreaded mosquito-borne disease.
Dr. Fe Bongcas, CHO chief, asked to intensify the information drive on how fatal dengue can be and how it can be slowed down. The sanitation division of CHO has been conducting massive campaigns in barangays, especially those which registered a high number of cases like Bugo, Carmen, Iponan and Patag villages.
The Public Information and Health Education Section (PIHES) also conducted pre-orientation, health education campaigns, and cleanup activities.
“Also, health centers in each barangay should continue to be wary of symptoms of patients and should report it immediately to the CHO or the probability of dengue,” Bongcas said.
The health official also recommends and reiterates the preventive measures for dengue fever, which includes seeking and destroying of breeding places, early consultation and treatment, and fogging in areas in villages with recorded high dengue cases.
Adults are also warned not to take fever lightly and dismiss it as flu. A person who is experiencing fever for several days and feels too weak must consult the doctors or go to the nearest health centers to get diagnosis.
Data recorded by the CHO showed that dengue cases from January to September 18, 2014 increased to 113 percent higher than the same period of 2013.
Six deaths were recorded from January to September 18, 2014, compared to 11 in the same period in 2013.
Last month, barangays Camaman-an, Gusa Balulang, Kauswagan and Bugo were found to have the most cases.
“Previous data on dengue surveys reveal a trend of increased cases during the months of August and September which fall on the rainy season,” said Bongcas.
Barangay Nazareth has not registered a high number of dengue cases.
The remains of Fr. Bagongon lie in state at San Antonio Parish in Nazareth. The parishioners recalled the priest as a quiet person.
The priest’s condition was critical when he was brought to the hospital. It was learned that he had fever for several days.
Bagongon hailed from Lagonglong town in Misamis Oriental.
Dr. Bongcas recalled that Fr. Bagongon celebrated the first Friday mass at the CHO in September.
Susing Abecia, one of the parishioners, told Testigo Northern Mindanao that she would miss Fr. Bagongon. “Palangga man gud mi niya (Fr. Raul),” Abecia said.
Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano sent his sympathy and condolence to the family, and Fr. Raul’s colleagues and superiors.
“I am sad because Fr. Raul, who is still very young and active priest, was a close and dear friend. What makes it sadder is the cause of his death which is dengue. The disease can be prevented and I am appealing for a wider involvement for pre-emptive actions to prevent the loss of more lives. May his death remind us that we are all vulnerable to dengue and must work together to stop it,” Emano said in a text message sent to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
Carl Cabaraban of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, when asked if the church can help disseminate information to its members, said the church can help in preventing the rise of dengue cases by creating awareness in the communities.
A child from Magsaysay in Misamis Oriental, who was brought to Northern Mindanao Medical Center, also died of dengue on Thursday.(Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro)