Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. on Wednesday instructed local government units (LGUs) to implement strengthened measures against dengue in their respective areas of responsibility.
Abalos issued the order amid an alarming increase in dengue cases, stressing the need to prevent its spread especially now that students have returned to in-person classes.
“Dengue remains to be a public health threat and with the escalating cases in the country today, LGUs must take a proactive stance and implement strategies to protect our people in the communities from this deadly disease,” Abalos said.
“We are not new to dengue outbreaks and we have already defeated these. With LGUs taking the lead, we will overcome this again,” he added.
Abalos said the LGUs can activate the Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue (ABKD) to motivate a movement to counter the spread of dengue in communities.
He said ABKD, an inter-agency effort against dengue, has been institutionalized since 2012 and has led to victories in the battle against the disease.
Under ABKD, village chiefs must initiate cleanup drives within the community by mobilizing volunteers, residents and barangay health teams such as the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team and Barangay Health Workers.
Meanwhile, local chief executives (LCE) are expected to monitor the health situation in their jurisdiction, provide data on dengue to partner agencies and ensure dengue patients are provided with timely and proper medical attention, among others.
Abalos likewise urged the public to partake in reducing dengue cases by exercising the ‘Enhanced 4S’ or the search and destroy breeding sites; seek early consultation; self-protection; and say ‘yes’ to fogging only in hotspot areas where an increase is registered for two consecutive weeks.
“What we learned during the pandemic is that the government cannot eliminate a disease alone. We need the cooperation of each and every Filipino to be successful in our anti-dengue initiatives. Let’s work together,” he said.
The latest data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed the country recorded 118,785 dengue cases from Jan. 1 to Aug. 13, 2022 or a 143-percent increase from only 48,867 cases in the same period last year.
The data showed that most dengue cases this year or 18 percent were reported in Central Luzon at 21,247; followed by Central Visayas with 11,390 cases (10 percent); and the National Capital Region (NCR) with 11,064 (9 percent).
The disease’s death toll across the country has also reached 400 as of August.