Recto: DOH’s 4S campaign vs dengue lacks ‘hoopla, relatable fanfare
MANILA, Philippines—While he credited the Department of Health (DOH) for its efforts in popularizing its 4S campaign against dengue, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Friday lamented the strategy’s lack of “hoopla and the relatable fanfare.”
The DOH’s 4S strategy against dengue stands for “search and destroy” for mosquito-breeding sites; “self-protection measures” like wearing of right clothes and daily use of mosquito repellent; “seek early consultation”; and “support fogging or spraying” in hotspot areas to prevent an impending outbreak.
Recto raised this as he highlighted the importance of public awareness to avoid dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease that has killed almost 500 nationwide in the first seven months of 2019.
“Because in this age of social media, to defeat a virus, one’s campaign must become viral,” Recto said in a statement.
The second highest-ranking official of the Senate then urged Malacañang to choose a day in the year which can be crammed with activities on how to combat the mosquito-inflicted disease, which has been classified by the DOH as no longer seasonal, but year-round.
“Maganda na ang mga ito. Packaging na lang,” Recto said. “Kung mayroong isang focal day na puno ng activities na lalahukan ng mga paaralan, opisina, pagawaan at malls, lalong tataas ang ating national DQ – dengue quotient,” Recto added.
Recto said DOH is already observing June 15 as ASEAN Dengue Day “but an Executive Order declaring a national fight dengue day or week will be better.”
Dengue fever has killed at least 491 people, mostly children, throughout the Philippines from January to July 2019. It was 155 deaths higher than that of 2018 which saw 336 deaths for the same period.
The senator also noted how former Health Secretary Johnny Flavier was able to marshal public opinion to the side of public health causes “without sending a single tweet.”
Flavier, who was Health secretary from 1992 to 1995, launched creative marketing drives like “Oplan Alis Disease” to promote the universal vaccination of Filipino children.
Recto said the template can be used against dengue “because for any disease, information precedes prevention, control and treatment.”
If there is a “Mosquito Awareness or Annihilation Day” or MAD or a “Tepok Lamok Hour,” it can be a big help in raising public awareness on how to avoid the disease, Recto said.
In Sorsogon, former senator and now Gov. Chiz Escudero has already issued an executive order declaring July 29, 2019 an “Anti-Dengue Special Working Day.” /muf
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