EDITORIAL| Sustain the fight vs dengue

ASEAN Member States have observed ASEAN Dengue Day sin 2011 to stress the call to unite against dengue and “to highlight innovative and effective strategies in the prevention and control of dengue.” Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said during the commemoration in Bicol last Thursday that the country has shown a nearly one-third decrease in dengue cases this year compared to the previous year vigilance has to continue to lessen the number of dengue cases.

In the statement of the ASEAN Dengue Day, the mosquito-borne disease continue to plague countries globallay, with Asia Pacific region bearing the highest burden. It said that “while prevention and control programmes for dengue have been strengthened with greater community-based participation; improved surveillance and reporting mechanisms; enhanced engagement of relevant stakeholders especially from the private sector; and progressive developments in vaccine development, there is still a need to sustain current collective efforts to pro-actively address this disease burden which is endemic in many countries in the ASEAN Region.

Sec. Ubial said that the Philippines is one of the countries in Asia and the Pacific that has a high prevalence of dengue cases. In fact, we bear 75 percent of the global burden of dengue. The DoH data shows 31.8-percent decrease in dengue cases this year compared to last year or from 211,000 cases in 2016 to 143,902 cases in 2017. However, It was not clear if the comparison was on the same period.

With the assistance from the World Health Organization, the country has developed a dengue and prevention control program, a strategic plan covering 2017 to 2022, using the 4S strategy: “Search and Destroy,” “Seek Early Consultation,” “Self-Protection” and “Say No to indiscriminate fogging.”

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