DOH Declares ‘National Dengue Epidemic’ After Hundreds of Related Deaths
The Department of Health (DOH) declared a national dengue epidemic this August 6, 2019. They did so in light of the increasing number of dengue cases as well as dengue-related deaths. According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque there have been 146,062 cases of dengue and 622 deaths recorded from January to July 20 this year. This is a 98% increase from the number of cases in 2018.
(Department of Health Reminds Public of Prevention Methods for Dengue)
The declaration intends to help officials identify areas which are in need of attention. “It is important that a national epidemic be declared in these areas to identify where a localized response is needed, and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque explained.
According to data from the DOH, Western Visayas holds the most number of recorded cases at 23,330, while Calabarzon follows with 16,515 cases and the Zamboanga Peninsula with 12,317 cases. Then Northern Mindanao with 11,455 cases and Soccskargen with 11,083.
Duque has assured that the government is taking the necessary measures in response. He stated in a press briefing: “Starting today, the DOH, together with other government agencies, the LGUs (local government units), the schools, the offices, and communities will conduct the ‘Sabayang 4 o’clock habit’ para dengue out, focusing on search and destroy in mosquito breeding sites. This is one of the primary interventions to prevent and control dengue, and this is obviously a line for the 4s Kontra Dengue.”
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