Barangay caravan increases dengue awareness at grassroots level

The Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) partner with multinational pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in spearheading a campaign called “Aksyon Laban sa Dengue: A Dengue Fever Awareness and Education Program.” It will include a barangay caravan that is aimed to bring dengue fever awareness efforts to the grassroots level.

“Dengue is a worldwide health issue. Based on WHO records, there have been 100 million dengue cases recorded and five percent resulted in death,” DOH Undersecretary Dr. Eric Tayag said.

He added that last year, DOH recorded 204,906 dengue cases resulting in 660 deaths. Meanwhile, there have been 24,900 cases so far this year which have resulted in 100 deaths.

Dengue continues to spread due to globalization, urbanization, climate change, increasing population, pollution problems, inadequate mosquito control and lack of community support to fight this disease.

“But the truth is, dengue can be prevented and stopped. The important thing is to know the facts about the disease,” said Dr. Tayag. Dengue is serious and potentially fatal. Quick and accurate detection is needed to arrest this disease.

“Dengue is a clever and cunning disease,” Dr. Sally Gatchalian, secretary of the Philippine Pediatric Society, meanwhile stressed.

She added, “It can disguise itself as other diseases. So, during the rainy season, which is when we usually see an increase of dengue cases, it is important to be on the lookout for fever that is at least of two days duration”.

Aside from fever, other signs and symptoms of dengue include headaches, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, muscle and joint aches, rashes, and bleeding manifestations.

The DOH will initially be facilitating the training of health practitioners to discuss new dengue incidence and disease trends as well as updates on its prevention and treatment guidelines.

The PPS health committee will then cascade these dengue modules based on DOH guidelines in selected barangays.

On its part, GSK will be bringing doctors to these areas to lead the dengue information campaign to help Filipinos protect their families and loved ones from this deadly menace. Gelyka Ruth R. Dumaraos

VitalSigns Issue 67 Vol. 3, September 1-30, 2014

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