Isabela gets lessons on dengue from guest prince
ILAGAN, Isabela—Malaysian Prince Tunku Naquiyuddin Ibni Tuanku Ja’afar, son of the late 10th King of Malaysia, Tuanku Ja’afar, became this town’s instant celebrity on Thursday when he graced the opening of the province’s 156th founding anniversary celebration.
Townfolk flocked to see the prince as he toured the provincial government-owned Faustino Dy Sr. Memorial Hospital, the Lingap Center and the Isabela Women and Children Protection Center.
The prince accommodated requests from residents for photographs. He was later briefed about Isabela’s continuing battle with dengue fever, and was told of a sharp increase in the number of cases from 134 patients in January to April 2011, to 219 patients for the same period this year.
Ilagan has the highest number of dengue cases with 31 patients.
A former diplomat, Naquiyuddin is the founder of Yayasan Tunku Naquiyuddin, a global nonprofit organization engaged in raising awareness on dengue, and malaria prevention and control.
The prince hopes to partner with Isabela in introducing a version of Malaysia’s integrated mosquito management program, according to Gov. Faustino Dy III, who studied the program during a recent visit to Malaysia.
Lawyer Eduardo Cabantac, executive director of the 156th Isabela Day celebration, said Dy invited Naquiyuddin to share his views on different advocacies that the prince is into, particularly one that seeks to eradicate dengue and malaria.
Cabantac said the visit is part of a partnership between the provincial government and the prince that was forged during the visit of Dy to Malaysia recently.
Naquiyuddin attended the launching of “Counter Strike Lamok,” Isabela’s version of his global advocacy for an integrated mosquito management program involving the government, business sector and local communities.
The prince has a similar campaign in Malaysia called “Stop Dengue Mission,” which focuses on reduction of mosquitoes, education, awareness and prevention of mosquito bites.
During a program here, Naquiyuddin presented a plastic packet of rice husks that can kill five generations of mosquitoes. He said a dengue-carrying female Aedes Aegypti mosquito can lay at least five clutches of eggs in its 30-day life span and if these insects are killed as early as in their larval stage, five generations of offspring can be wiped out.
A cultural night was also held with the prince as guest of honor. The activity, prepared by the provincial government, displayed different cultural arts and traditions like music and dances.
As part of the activities, the provincial government declared Friday (May 11) as a special nonworking holiday to give Isabela folk the chance to participate in activities, which include a grand float parade featuring Isabela’s products. Villamor Visaya Jr. and Conrado Simon, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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