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ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines/22 April 2012 by Sheila Covarrubias—Mayor Celso Lobregat ordered the City Health Office (CHO) including the Office of City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) to strengthen the drive against the dengue hemorrhagic fever, now said to have reached alarming level.
Mayor Lobregat said the report of high dengue cases calls for renewed efforts to eliminate breeding grounds of dengue carrier mosquitoes. “That is the way we have been doing and to prevent any further increase, we have to double the efforts.”
Citing records, City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos said dengue cases from January 1 to April 15 have reached 502, showing a 50% increase as compared to last year.
Of the total 502 cases reported, 7 were fatal. Areas with high reported dengue cases are the barangays of Tumaga, Tugbungan, San Roque, Tetuan, Guiwan and Sta. Maria.
In 2011, over 200 cases of dengue were reported from January to April with 4 fatalities.
In a separate interview Dr. Agbulos said the dengue situation is at the alarming level but it has not reached the alert or outbreak level. He stressed that the situation can be urgently addressed with intensified cleanliness drives to and stepped up advocacy campaign. “We call on barangay officials to initiate dengue clean-up drives and to mobilize the students under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) to help in the campaign.”
Doctors, nurses and midwives assigned in the rural health centers have been instructed to come up with campaigns against dengue. (Sheila Covarrubias)
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