PhilHealth says it has enough funds to help dengue victimsBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. has assured the public that it has enough funds to help dengue victims after the number of dengue cases in the country rose by 25 percent.
Doctor Eduardo Banzon, PhilHealth president and chief executive officer, said the agency provides P8,000 for each case of dengue fever or simple dengue hemorrhagic fever and P16,000 for every case of dengue hemorrhagic fever with presence of shock.
“We are constantly helping to pay for the hospitalization and treatment of every member or dependent admitted due to dengue fever,” Banzon said in a statement.
PhilHealth said Western Pacific Regional Office of the World Health Organization records showed that the number of dengue cases in the country increased in recent months.
From January to October this year, the Philippines reported 132,046 dengue cases, or an increase of 25 percent compared to the 105,702 reported during the same period in 2011.
“There is still no approved antiviral or vaccine for the treatment or prevention of dengue, which causes high fever and could lead to internal bleeding and organ failure,” PhilHealth said.
“Fluids and blood transfusion are usually the only options in critical cases,” it added.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito, found in tropical and sub-tropical regions, transmits the dengue virus to humans. The mosquito typically bites humans, and usually after dawn and before sunset.
Health experts have warned that the Philippines and other countries could face more dengue outbreaks in the coming years due to climate change, which has heightened the risk of recurring floods that allow the Aedes aegypti mosquito to breed more easily, PhilHealth said.
Dengue epidemics cause significant morbidity and mortality, social disruption and considerable economic burden in affected areas, both in terms of hospitalization and mosquito control, the WHO said.
Up to 40 percent of the world’s population, or around 2.5 billion people, are threatened by dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome, it added.