Capitol taps doctors’ group to combat dengue

By: Gerome Dalipe

AMID the mounting cases of dengue, the Iloilo Provincial Government is tapping a group of local physicians to augment its medical personnel in rural areas.

Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. has asked the Iloilo Provincial Board to allow him to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Pediatric Society-Western Visayas chapter.

“Since the declaration of dengue outbreak in the province, the number of dengue victims continue to mount and had posted a tremendous burden on the existing manpower of the district and provincial hospitals,” the agreement read.

The Provincial Government has allotted about P26.5 million for the purchase of medicines and other medical supplies following its declaration of a state of calamity due to dengue outbreak.

The Iloilo Provincial Board approved the resolution placing the Province under the calamity state as dengue cases reached 6,806 with 23 deaths since Jan.1, according to the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

Apart from medicines and other medical supplies, the budget will also be used to buy chemicals for spraying against dengue mosquitoes, mosquito repellents, and mosquito nets, among others.

The allocation will be distributed to 11 district hospitals and one provincial hospital, and rural health units.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) recommended the declaration of a state of calamity after Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. declared a dengue outbreak last July 15, 2019.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) approved the calamity declaration, citing the 6,806 dengue cases with 23 deaths recorded by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) since Jan. 1 this year.

In Western Visayas, health officials recorded 23,216 dengue cases with 111 deaths as of July 31.

In Iloilo Province, dengue fever cases have increased by over 998 percent as compared to last year’s 620 cases with three deaths from January to July 2018, records from the Provincial Health Office showed.

In the proposed agreement, the doctors’ group said their members can augment the rural health unit personnel especially in caring for infants, children, and even adolescent.

The group will also volunteer to conduct health advocacy in the community, assist in the triaging of dengue patients, and provide support in managing dengue cases in providing expertise and guidance.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection causing a severe flu-like illness. These carriers are day-biting mosquitoes (Aedesalbpictus and Aedes Egyptian) that live and breed in clean and stagnant water.

Doctors also advise people with dengue symptoms to immediately seek medical treatment.

Some of the symptoms are severe headaches, high fever, pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and skin rashes.