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Strategizing to combat surge of dengue cases in ZamPen

The  Zamboanga Peninsula region has been grappling with a growing health crisis – a significant increase in dengue cases.

The Department of Health (DOH) in Region 9 recorded a total of 7,491 dengue cases from January 1 to August 12, this year. As the number of infections continues to rise, local authorities and communities are joining forces to combat this alarming trend and protect the well-being of the residents.

Local health officials report that factors like climate change, increased urbanization, and poor waste management practices have created favorable conditions for the Aedes mosquito, the primary vector responsible for transmitting the dengue virus. These factors, combined with a lack of awareness about preventative measures, have contributed to the surge in cases.

DOH also emphasized that the rainy season in the region contributes as one of the big factor in the increase of cases, “the longer the rainy season, the longer the Dengue season,” said Solomon Perez, Medical Technologist of DOH 9.

Photo Courtesy of DOH IX

Government agencies and healthcare providers in ZamPen are also playing a vital role in the fight against dengue. Hospitals and clinics have increased their capacity to diagnose and treat dengue cases promptly. They have also been working to improve public education, ensuring that residents are aware of the symptoms of dengue and the importance of seeking medical attention early.

Additionally, local government units are intensifying efforts to control the mosquito population by conducting regular vector control activities, such as fogging in high-risk areas.

Children are particularly vulnerable, especially with the resumption of classes. In a collaborative effort, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Education have implemented the 5S program to combat Dengue, which stands for: Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation when symptoms arise, Support fogging in outbreak areas, and Sustain hydration. These critical steps need to be reinforced within schools and among students.

The increasing dengue cases in Zamboanga Peninsula serve as a reminder of the importance of community resilience and government action in addressing public health challenges. DOH emphasized the importance of LGUs curbing the increasing cases and that the ABAKADA campaign or Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue is strongly implemented in their communities.

Climate-resilient strategies and sustainable urban planning are essential to mitigate the environmental factors contributing to the dengue surge.

“We are appealing to the public that we need to unite and contribute to fight dengue,” Perez said. (RVC/MLE/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

About the Author

Myra Cel Espinosa

Information Officer III

Region 9

Myra Espinosa is an Information Officer of the Philippine Information Agency Region IX.  She writes news and feature stories for the agency's website and social media platforms. She is currently the program host of Kapihan na Zamboanga Public Briefing, as well as a news contributor for PTV News. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration Major in Organization and Management from Western Mindanao State University.

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