Iloilo City Health Office launches community campaigns to combat dengue

ILOILO. These larvae are a crucial stage in the development of mosquitos. By eliminating their breeding spots in stagnant water, it can prevent the spread of diseases like dengue.
ILOILO. These larvae are a crucial stage in the development of mosquitos. By eliminating their breeding spots in stagnant water, it can prevent the spread of diseases like dengue. (Photo by Leo Solinap)

THE Iloilo City Government is proactively addressing the potential increase in dengue cases due to the arrival of the rainy season through the City Health Office (CHO).

Addressing potential dengue cases due to the rainy season, the CHO distributes larvicides to all seven districts, including 180 barangays, in the last week of May, according to DoctorJune Frances Umani, Medical Officer IV at Tanza Health Center and the city's Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Disease Program Coordinator.

The CHO has also mobilized teams to conduct "pamulong-pulong sa barangay" or community awareness campaigns to educate residents about dengue prevention.

Barangay officials are encouraged to implement regular clean-up drives following the "4S Kontra Dengue" strategy:

1. Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites.

2. Seek early consultation if experiencing dengue symptoms.

3. Practice self-protection by using mosquito repellents and wearing long sleeves and pants.

4. Support fogging or spraying operations when necessary.

"We emphasize that preventing dengue starts at home, in our own surroundings," Umani said.

Data from the CHO showed a significant decrease in dengue cases so far this year. From January 1 to June 1, 2024, Iloilo City recorded only 176 cases with zero deaths.

This is a 29.6 percent reduction compared to the 250 cases with three deaths reported during the same period in 2023.

The age group most affected by dengue is below one year old, with 50 cases.

This is followed by the one to 10 years old (39 cases) and the 11 to 20 years old (16 cases). The remaining cases involve residents 21 years old and above.

While no clustering of cases has been identified, the Arevalo district has the highest number of cases at 56.

Molo and Jaro II districts follow with 23 cases each, while La Paz has 22, Jaro I has 20, Mandurriao has 10, Sto. Rosario has nine, Tanza has eight, and Lapuz has five.

Umani expresses optimism about the possibility of sustaining a low number of dengue cases.

"However, with the rainy season here, we must remain vigilant and not become complacent," Umani said.

Iloilo City experienced a dengue outbreak in 2019 with 3,345 cases and 16 deaths. The number decreased in 2020 and 2021, but a renewed increase was seen in 2022 with 1,092 cases and 2023 with 1,007 cases.

The Iloilo City Government's proactive measures and community engagement efforts aim to prevent a similar rise in dengue cases this year.

Larvicides are used to eliminate mosquito larvae, specifically those of the Aedes mosquito, which transmits dengue. (Leo Solinap/SunStar Philippines)

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