BAGUIO CITY — Reported cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever increased in the city despite massive information campaign for its prevention as disclosed by Department of Health (DoH) Regional Director Myrna Cabotaje in the weekly Kapihan with the media.
From January to June of this year, there were already 134 reported cases of dengue infection here, a whopping 70% increase from the 94 cases in the same period in 2007.
According to Cabotaje, this increase could be attributed to the incorrect preventive practice of the residents.
“The people’s level of awareness is high enough in terms of the need to prevent the breeding of dengue mosquitoes but there is still a need for a massive information drive on how to do it properly,” said Cabotaje.
Cabotaje also cited global warming as one factor on the increasing dengue cases. She said that this climatic phenomenon shortens the incubation period of the mosquitoes, thus it is now faster for these mosquitoes to reproduce and multiply.
“It cannot be discounted that maybe there is an increase in the reported cases because the people are now more aware compared to the previous years when people know nothing about the disease and did not report,” said Cabotaje.
Among the 129 barangays (village) in Baguio City, there are 13 barangays identified as hotspot areas for dengue, namely Barangays Asin, ABCR, Aurora Hill, Brookside, Camp 7, Fairview, Loakan Proper, Engineer’s Hill, Quezon Hill Proper, Sta. Escolastica, Lourdes Extension, New Lucban and Irisan.
Although the DoH identified these hotspots, Cabotaje said there is still no reason to be alarmed.
“A hotspot may be declared if there is an increase in cases within two consecutive weeks,” said Cabotaje adding that there are also some reported cases in other barangays.
Meanwhile, Councilor Erdolpho Balajadia the chairman of the Committee on Environment, Health and Sanitation authored a resolution to declare that there is an eminent danger of dengue in the city and to authorize the city to draw from the calamity funds for its prevention.
“This is a wake up call for us and we cannot compromise the health of the constituents of the city,” said Balajadia. “What is the use of a beautiful spruced up city when the people are not healthy?” he asked, adding he would rather neglect everything else but health.
The resolution was unanimously approved by the council and is now waiting for the approval of Mayor Peter Rey Bautista.
If approved by the mayor, funds would be allotted for an entomological survey, misting machines, larvaecides, insecticides and other equipment.
Among the Cordillera provinces, Benguet tops the number of reported cases with 60, followed by Abra with nine, Mountain Province with eight, Ifugao with five, Apayao with three and Kalinga with two cases.
Ifugao was the only province that recorded a decrease in dengue cases with 21 in 2007. While Apayao and Kalinga did not have any reported case last year.
The month of June is Dengue Awareness Month. # Cye Reyes