July 18, 2024

■  Hanna C. Lacsamana   

Baguio City is strengthening its anti-dengue preventions further following the continued rise of cases in the first six months of the year by including the police in the implementation of the anti-dengue ordinance.

City Health Services Office (CHSO) Sanitation Inspector IV Miller Balisongen said Mayor Benjamin Magalong has ordered the CHSO on June 26 to coordinate with the Baguio City Police Office in visiting households identified to have not eliminated potential breeding sites of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

“During our meeting in the task force earlier today, we discussed involving the police in implementing the dengue ordinance because under the ordinance, a household if found having containers with mosquito larvae or kiti-kiti, will be held liable,” Balisongen said during a media briefing on June 26.

He said the mere presence of a single larva in a container in a house constitutes a violation of the ordinance.

Based on their monitoring, even in a household with two members already sick with dengue, many mosquito breeding sites can still be found in their surroundings.

Basilongen said the city government regularly conducts information and education campaigns in barangays to participate in dengue prevention as early as the start of the year, but some barangay officials do not take the concern on dengue seriously.

“There are barangays that even had cases of death due to dengue, but still, breeding sites can be found in their areas,” he said.

Balisongen said the police will help in implementing the dengue ordinance.

Based on the latest surveillance report, CHSO medical technologist III Ruby Magsino reported a total of 942 dengue cases have been recorded as admitted patients and outpatients from Jan. 1 to June 26.

The number represents a 121 percent increase compared to the same period last year with 426 cases.

Out of the cases this year, two died – one had a co-morbid condition and another was infected with leptospirosis.

Clustering of cases in barangays or those having three or more cases has also been monitored in the past four weeks from May 26 to June 22.

Based on monitoring, Magsino said some of the cases are from the same household with two to three cases recorded in one household.

Barangays with the most number of cases are Irisan, Bakakeng Central, Asin Road, Pacdal, Sto. Tomas Proper, Gibraltar, West Quirino Hill, Mines View, Middle Quirino Hill, and Victoria Village.

Magsino said these barangays are being prioritized by the CHSO Sanitation Division for dengue prevention.

The increase may be attributed to the rainy season and there are breeding sites that have not been eliminated.

Some residents may have also become lax in their cleanup activities, but they have also monitored an increase in disease reporting or many have been going for consultation.

Balisongen said it is important to eliminate the mosquito breeding sites, stressing dengue-carrying mosquitoes breed on clean stagnant water on containers, even bottle caps where water accumulates.

He also discouraged those who grow and maintain plants from at home and use plant saucers because these also accumulate water and often neglected and become breeding sites for mosquitoes.

The Department of Health-Cordillera has advised that the best defense against dengue is everyone practicing the 4S: search and destroy mosquito breeding sites; secure self-protection; seek early consultation; and support fogging in hotspot areas.

Health authorities also both stressed dengue prevention is not the government’s responsibility alone but requires the active involvement of the community.