“Reports on dengue cases for first quarter of 2012 is lower than last year,” said Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona during the Dengue Summit held at Heritage Hotel, Manila on 13 April 2012.
As of March 2012, a total of 15,536 dengue cases was reported, 30 percent lower compared to the 22,200 cases recorded for the same period last year. “This is a result of our collaborative efforts,” said Secretary Ona. “But, of course, we can never be complacent. That is why, as early as April, we are conducting this Summit to gather all stakeholders and partners to share best practices and learn from their experiences. I hope before the rainy season starts, we will all be prepared to run the battle against dengue.”
The Health Secretary commended all dengue program partners and stakeholders and encouraged them to continue to support the DOH on its goal to eradicate dengue in the country. “We did our best last year, but we have to do more. We have to be more creative and more aggressive this time,” said Secretary Ona.
In search of other possible solutions to the dengue problem, the DOH will also look into the use of information technology to facilitate fast reporting and immediate dengue outbreak response. “Aside from treating the dengue patients who enter the hospital, on the same day, we can inform the barangay health workers where the patients are living to conduct clean-up activities or fogging, if necessary, to prevent the breeding of dengue-causing mosquitoes.”
Secretary Ona also motivated barangay health workers to become dengue soldiers at the community level. “They should take responsibility and spearhead clean-up activities and information dissemination drives in the community. We have to be proactive not only for treatment and surveillance but also for early prevention because stopping dengue is in our hands,” concluded Secretary Ona.