Dengue remains a critical threat to public health, even amidst the interventions introduced in alleviating the number of cases worldwide.
Globally, dengue threatens about 3.9 billion people in 128 countries, especially in the Americas, South East Asia and Western Pacific Regions.
Latest report from the Department of Health (DOH) in Philippines confirms that there are about 176, 411 suspected cases of dengue (including 422 deaths) in 2016.
But there is a decreasing trend in the cases according to the Epidemiology Bureau. Statistics from January 1 to May 20, 2017 show a total of 35,973 dengue cases nationwide, 31.8 percent lower compared to the same time period last year (52,780).
Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, however, reiterates that the government and its partners should not be complacent in the fight against the deadly disease. Rather, she underscores the need to strive harder to make the Philippines a dengue-free country.
Most of the cases were from Central Visayas Region (15.5 percent), Central Luzon Region (13 percent), and National Capital Region (12.2 percent). Majority of the reported cases are males and belongs to the 5 – 9 years age group.
For the health secretary, dengue prevention should start from each individual. She notes DOH’s 4S habit, which every Filipino should observe to eliminate dengue-carrying diseases.
The 4S means: Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, use Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation for fevers lasting more than 2 days, and Say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak.
The 4S implementation calls for everyone to become prime movers in achieving substantial change and positive influencers to others within the community, she says.
“The significance of addressing dengue at the barangay level is to overcome its detrimental impact of instigating economic burden and hindering our development goals,” Sec. Ubial says. “The first step to prevent dengue is within our homes, it is important to instill cleanliness in our surroundings and empty containers with stagnant waters to eliminate the breeding places of mosquitoes.”
The health secretary added that if fever is persistent, with or without rashes, it is imperative to seek early consultation in the health facilities for proper medical management and to avoid serious complications.
For a better life
Meanwhile, the National Dengue Prevention and Control Program (NDPCP) notes the reinforcement of its Integrated Vector Management (IVM) strategy by letting the public know the vector itself, Aedes aegypti.
Bayer, a global enterprise aiming to improve quality of life through providing better health care solutions, recently stressed the importance of continuing efforts to fight dengue.
“Together, we aim to raise greater awareness not only on managing dengue but on preventive measures that start with eliminating its vector, the Aedes sp. mosquito,” he adds. “Advocacy and communication is a critical part of disease control through raising public awareness.”
Mohr explains that Bayer’s research and development on vector control spans 60 years. For the company, injecting integrated approach to manage mosquito-borne diseases. It also partners with mosquito control experts from all over the world to further heightened the development of effective solutions against dengue.
Mosquito Learning Lab
With this, Bayer Mosquito Learning Lab and Mosquito Quest App were introduced recently to strengthen joint initiatives for generating dengue awareness and educational programs for the public.
Bayer developed the Mosquito Learning Lab – an online learning tool to help bring the message closer to everyone in the community, from school children to families, to sustain a high level of awareness and vigilance.
Since its launch in 2015 in Singapore, over 1500 local school children have completed Mosquito Learning Lab.
Bayer’s Innovation Manager Jason Nash said, “We developed Bayer Mosquito Learning Lab as an online learning tool specially designed for the community to learn more about dengue and Zika – how to manage these diseases and their vectors; as well as the many different ways the public can prevent mosquito breeding in and around their homes.
The drive coincides with the ASEAN Dengue Day this year. Aside from this, Bayer also introduced the Mosquito Quest – a virtual reality experience that complements Mosquito Learning Lab where users test their knowledge to identify potential mosquito breeding sites in a home.
Nash adds that the Mosquito Quest is a great tool that uses the latest technology to complement public educational efforts in the battle to prevent mosquito breeding.
“This brings a strong element of fun to learning about mosquito prevention, enhancing the adoption of mosquito prevention methods,” he adds. Gelyka Ruth R. Dumaraos
July 2017 Health and Lifestyle