Health execs raise alarm as 13 die of dengue in Soccsksargen
GEN. SANTOS CITY — Health authorities in the Soccsksargen region raised the alarm bells against dengue as 13 persons died and more than 3,780 were stricken by the mosquito-borne disease from January to March 23 this year.
The DOH-12 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) reported that 3,783 individuals had been hospitalized in the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan, Tacurong, Koronadal, and Gen. Santos in the last three months because of dengue.
RESU data showed that North Cotabato recorded the highest number of dengue cases at 1,362 followed by South Cotabato with 1,103 cases. The province of Sultan Kudarat registered 463 cases; Sarangani, 373; while the cities of Gen. Santos and Cotabato registered 300 and 182 cases, respectively.
“This is alarming because this (number) is 184 percent compared to the same period last year,” Jenny Panizales Ventura, Department of Health (DOH-12) focal person on dengue and measles eradication, told the Inquirer.
“Last year we have four deaths in the same period, now we have 13, this is really alarming,” Ventura said.
DOH-12 Regional Director Dr. Aristides Concepcion Tan has ordered health front liners to address the disease.
Ventura said DOH-12 was sad over the number of fatalities since the disease is highly preventable.
“We cannot do it alone, we need other stakeholders to take part in the campaign against dengue,” Ventura said.
In North Cotabato, the number of dengue cases during the same period last year was only 391. This year, it spiked to 1,362.
Seven died of dengue in North Cotabato for the period while three deaths were reported in Sarangani and South Cotabato.
“We appeal for parents’ participation by simply bringing their children to health stations so DOH can attend to the patients than treat them in the hospitals,” Ventura said.
Dr. Imelda Quiñones, DOH-12 Medical Officer and head of RESU-12, reiterated the importance of the “4S strategy” to fight and prevent dengue.
Speaking to reporters in Kidapawan City recently, Quiñones said DOH was implementing the “enhanced 4S strategy.”
“It is enhanced because we are adding three more diseases particularly malaria, chikungunya, and zika which are vector-borne diseases from mosquitoes,” she said.
The 4S strategy simply means: search and destroy breeding places, secure self-protection, seek early consultation, and say No to indiscriminate fogging./lzb
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