21 dengue deaths monitored in Davao in less than 8 months
DAVAO CITY –– Dengue has claimed 21 lives in the Davao region from January to August 5 this year, a 50-per cent rise from the 14 deaths reported in the same period last year, said a Department of Health (DOH) report released here on Thursday.
At least 11 or about half of the total deaths caused by dengue were in Davao City, which also recorded the highest number of cases in the region for the period, Health Assistant Secretary Abdullah Dumama told reporters during a briefing at the DOH office here.
DOH monitored 4,345 dengue cases in the region from January to early August, a 61.5-per cent increase from the 2,690 cases monitored in the same period last year.
After Davao City, which recorded a total of 2,618 dengue cases this year, Compostela Valley province followed with 788 cases; Davao Oriental with 641 cases; Davao del Norte, 562 cases; Davao del Sur, 151; and Davao Occidental, 35 cases.
Aside from the 11 deaths monitored in Davao City, six dengue deaths were reported in Davao del Norte and one death each in Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental.
Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, chair of the city council committee on health, said there was no need to declare a state of calamity in the city yet as the number of dengue cases in the area was still below the alert and epidemic level.
“We don’t see a need to declare a state of calamity just yet,” Villafuerte said.
“Davao City is not among the highly affected areas. We are not yet in the alert or even the epidemic level, according to DOH,” she added.
She also said programs were already in place in the city to curb dengue cases.
“We recently passed on first reading the proposed ordinance on mosquito-borne diseases prevention program,” she added.
At least 10 localities in Davao region have been declared as hotspots for dengue, including the districts of Buhangin, Talomo North, Talomo Central, Talomo South, Agdao, Sasa in Davao City; Mati City in Davao Oriental; Compostela district and Monkayo town in Compostela Valley province; and Tagum City in Davao del Norte.
DOH said P18 million had been spent for dengue prevention and control in the region in the first seven months of the year alone.
Dumama said that with the nationwide declaration of a dengue alert in July and the dengue epidemic in August, the DOH would tap the Quick Response Fund (QRF) to address dengue-related emergencies.
“Hospitals and (DOH) regions that ran out of budget can now request for the QRF (to address dengue),” Dumama said.
He also said local governments would have to declare a dengue epidemic to make use of their QRF.
“Although the QRF of the Department of Health is different from that of the LGUs, the local governments may make the declaration as an avenue to make use of their calamity funds. This is provided that they have the declaration of the state of calamity from their Sanggunian,” Dumama said.
Antonietta Ebol, DOH Davao dengue program coordinator, said they had been replenishing medical supplies weekly as the demand for the rapid test kits for dengue went high.
“We have about 10,000 supplies of the test kits and weekly, we provide these kits to Davao City and the other five provinces. Despite the high demand, supplies are also coming in,” Ebol said.
Dumama also appealed to the public to help curb the dengue
epidemic by following the DOH’s advise for dengue prevention and control.
“DOH cannot do it alone. We need everybody’s help and we want everybody to get involved,” said Dumama. /lzb
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