THE NATIONAL dengue alert issued by the Department of Health (DOH) should prompt the general public to ensure that discarded materials that can hold water are properly managed in their communities.
On Monday, Health secretary Francisco Duque III declared the first-ever national alert against dengue “to raise awareness among the public and, more importantly, in communities where signs of early dengue increases are evident.”
From Jan. 1 to June 29, DOH recorded 106,630 dengue cases, including 456 deaths, throughout the country, which is 85 percent higher than the 57,564 cases reported during the same period in 2018. Western Visayas, the Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao are some of the most affected regions.
All local leaders, especially the barangay chairpersons, must see to it that discards are properly managed to deprive Aedes egypti mosquitoes with breeding sites such as stagnant water in the surroundings. Reckless disposal of anything that can store water such as discarded tires, cans, bottles, plastic bags, and snack packs can serve as a breeding ground for Aedes egypti.
If not kept dry and properly maintained, mosquitoes can also breed in recyclable materials that we sort and collect at home, store at school, market and barangay material recovery facilities, and even those we send to junk shops, according to environment watchdog EcoWaste Coalition.
Aedes egypti mosquitoes can also breed in water storage containers such as tanks, drums and pails without covers, in flower vases and in plates under potted plants, in rain gutters and in other artificial or natural water containers.
To rid Aedes egypti mosquitoes of breeding spots, we won’t get tired repeating these simple, practical and doable tips: Frequently inspect and remove stagnant water in your household and neighborhood. Get rid of discards that can collect and hold water. Recycle or dispose of water-collecting containers that are not needed.
Keep recyclables dry and clean. Change water in flower vases weekly. Flip the flowerpot plate to remove water. Cover water pails, drums, and tanks with lids or mosquito-proof mesh. Empty and clean water containers thoroughly once a week.
Clear the roof gutter of leaves and other debris so that pools of water do not form.
Puncture or cut old rubber tires used as roof support to avoid collecting water.
Let us start now.