ILOILO City – This is a busy Saturday. There’s a massive cleanup against dengue mosquitoes in 180 barangays.
Since Jan. 1 the City Health Office (CHO) has recorded 619 dengue cases with six deaths.
The cleanup is being spearheaded by the City Environment and Natural Resources Office and General Services Office.
Mayor Jerry Treñas underscored the importance of cleanliness in curbing dengue cases.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection causing a severe flu-like illness that could sometimes be fatal.
Dengue mosquitoes Aedes egypti and Aedes albopictus breed in clear, stagnant water.
The cleanup campaign, dubbed “Ugsaran Tinluan Para Balatian Malikawan”, kicks off at 6 a.m. in Barangay Calumpang, Molo district.
There will be a short program followed by the tolling of church bells and blaring of fire trucks’ sirens.
According to Councilor Alan Zaldivar, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s (SP) health committee, the cleanup should be held regularly – every Saturday.
The age group with the most number dengue cases here is between one to 10 years old, according to Dr. Mae Delmo, assistant city health officer.
Cases this year from January to July, she added, were 180 percent higher than those recorded last year in the same period.
The most recent dengue casualty in this city was a five-year-old Kindergarten pupil from Barangay Jibao-an Sur, Mandurriao. He did in an hospital on July 3.
Last month, the SP approved an ordinance mandating the creation of barangay-based anti-dengue task forces. Zaldivar said an inventory should be conducted to ensure compliance.
CHO data showed the district of Jaro having the most number of dengue cases (168) followed by Molo (113), Mandurriao (87), City Proper (74), La Paz (72), Arevalo (66), and Lapuz (39).
According to the World Health Organization, individuals should suspect dengue when a high fever (40 degrees centigrade) is accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, nausea / vomiting, swollen glands, muscle and joint pains, and rash.
For severe dengue, the warning signs to look out for are: severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums, blood in vomit, fatigue, and restlessness.
In 2018, the total dengue cases CHO recorded was 883 with nine deaths.
The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) already approved the P8-million fund requested by the CHO for dengue prevention activities.
The amount would be taken from the P57.6-million 2018 trust fund intended for CDRRMC’s various programs, projects and activities related to disaster risk reduction.
“We need money to purchase fogging machines, sprayers and chemicals against mosquitoes,” said Treñas, CDRRMC chairperson. “Teachers and principals are requesting that their schools be sprayed to get rid of mosquitoes.”
The CHO also identified several dengue “hotspot barangays” – Calumpang and San Juan in Molo; So-oc, Q. Abeto and Navais in Mandurriao; Baldoza in La Paz; and Balabago in Jaro. (With a report from Iloilo City PIO/PN)