Iloilo City sees 39.6% drop in dengue cases

By Mariela Angella Oladive

From January to July 6, Iloilo City observed a significant 39.6 percent decrease in dengue cases, according to Dr. Roland Jay Fortuna, Assistant City Health Officer.

In a press briefing on Monday, July 8, Dr. Fortuna reported that the city recorded 215 dengue cases with no deaths, a significant improvement from 356 cases and three deaths during the same period last year.

However, he noted that despite the overall decline, some districts experienced a 15 percent increase in cases.

Fortuna expressed concern about the typical rise in dengue cases starting in July, warning that the city’s alert level and epidemic threshold usually peak from July to September.

He explained that this period is particularly worrisome based on the pattern of data from the previous three years.

“The last major dengue outbreaks were in 2019, 2016, and 2012, so we see a pattern every 2-3 years. Now, it has been five years… So, we need to be vigilant next year to avoid reaching the alert level in case of increasing cases,” he said.

Fortuna emphasized the importance of continued cleanup campaigns to maintain the downward trend and prevent a potential surge in dengue cases.

“Since we started our clean-up drive five years ago, it has been effective in reducing dengue cases,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jerry Treñas highlighted that dengue cases in Iloilo City remain minimal compared to other areas.

“I have issued an executive order mandating all barangays and job hires to maintain cleanliness. Our misting team continues their work tirelessly, and I believe we are on the right track,” said the mayor.

Through Executive Order 89 signed on June 24, Treñas has designated every Saturday as cleanup and garden cultivation day.

He stated that one of the objectives of the initiative is to prevent the spread of dengue in the area.

The order mandates barangay officials to clean their respective areas and encourage community participation.

The Iloilo City Environment and Natural Resources Office, supported by various city departments, oversees these activities.

The city’s proactive measures also include schools procuring knapsack sprayers for misting to combat mosquito breeding. Previously, the mayor announced plans to launch an annual contest for the best garden to encourage more barangays to engage in gardening projects.

Currently, 71 barangays are participating in the city’s “Jerry P. Treñas Edible Landscaping or JPT Ediscape” urban gardening project.

Additionally, 20 barangays and over 200 daycare centers will join the second round of container gardening this year.

In the same efforts, the city’s agriculture office continues to promote peri-urban agriculture, with several private and government offices expected to join the urban gardening program following training earlier this year.

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