‘Ghostbusters’ to beat off dengue? No way!By Julliane Love De Jesus
‘Dancing Doctor’ Dr. Eric Tayag grooves his way to encourage Filipinos to adapt a healthy lifestyle. Video by INQUIRER.net’s Julliane Love de Jesus
MANILA, Philippines—Say no to “ghost busters,” the Department of Health warns.
Donned like the misfit parapsychologists in the 1984 American supernatural comedy film “Ghostbusters”, village officials making the rounds to beat off dengue-causing mosquitoes through fumigation should be turned down, Dr. Eric Tayag, health assistant secretary, said.
“The only situation where fogging is necessary is when there arises a dengue outbreak to reduce the density of mosquitoes,” Tayag told INQUIRER.net.
Tayag cited a warning by the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), an agency under the Department of Agriculture, against fake insecticides or dubious mosquito control treatments being used by fumigators in villages and residential areas.
“Most of the times, these officials will just barge in local areas to only spray fog made of liters and liters of gasoline instead of pesticides,” Tayag said.
“So when ghostbusters-like men arrive [in your areas], say no to them.”
He said local government officials who buy P300,000-worth of fumigating equipment only want to earn brownie points.
“As of January 1 to August 24, we have 102,192 cases with 385 dead. But we are 7.6 percent lower than last year, where we had, in the same period, 110,611 cases of Dengue,” the Health official said.
But Tayag said since the official statistics of dengue mortality was released, the DOH has been counting the cases thoroughly because they were “bracing for another bad year.
“Although the latest word is by next year, or as early as 2015, the Philippines may have a vaccine for dengue virus. Bad news is, it will only be given to children,” he said.
Tayag said that in a bid to create the first dengue fever vaccine, research was done by several countries – the Philippines, Thailand and Brazil.
Thus far, there is still no treatment, cure or vaccine for the virus.
“DOH will try anything to campaign dengue prevention, I even danced with the Cebu inmates,” said the doctor who did a dance to fight dengue.
To augment the dengue prevention awareness among citizens, especially in provinces, SC Johnson Philippines, in cooperation with the DOH, will be handing out “Anti-Dengue Packs” to the high-risk areas in the Philippines.
“We are working primarily with DOH in identifying places that are in most need. In Visayas and Mindanao, there are lots of cases rising, especially in Negros Occidental,” SC Johnson executive Floyd Pedernal told INQUIRER.net.
Pedernal said the packs to be distributed in far-flung dengue-stricken areas would contain mosquito-killing sprays, coils, insect repellent and dengue prevention kits to increase the awareness of Filipinos living in provinces.