Place you ads here.

Rise of Dengue Cases Cause for Concern

The country needs to band together and employ innovative methods to combat the potentially fatal disease, Dengue, given its deadly threat, particularly to youngsters.

This was the main takeaway from a recent conversation titled “A Dengue Dialogue: Protecting our Children from the Epidemic,” which was organized by the Vaccine Solidarity Movement (VSM) and featured the nation’s top public health experts.

“My oldest daughter had it 2 times! It was very scary, and I would not want to go through any of that again — but the reality is we are all at risk. Wala pong pinipili ang dengue, bata o matanda, mayaman o mahirap. [dengue can hit anyone, old or young, rich or poor] Ang nakakatakot sa dengue pag akala mo gumaling ang lagnat okay na [what’s scary is, you think it’s better because the fever breaks] BUT that is when it can get fatal. Wag hintayin mawala ang lagnat [don’t wait till the fever breaks], seek medical attention & manage right away.” the event’s moderator, broadcaster Niña Corpuz-Rodriguez, shared her personal experience. Like Rodriguez, numerous parents are anxiously seeking more effective solutions to safeguard their children against this debilitating disease.     

In 2023, a record-breaking year for dengue worldwide, the Philippines saw an exceptionally dry and “slow” dengue year, ranking third among the nations with the most dengue cases.

Analyzing statistics from prior years, it was found that 1,407 dengue deaths and 371,717 documented cases occurred in 2019, regarded as a record year for the Philippines.

Children between the ages of five and nine accounted for around half of these dengue-related deaths. It is projected that over 1,000 children could have died from dengue in the same year if the Philippines had not been spared from the record year 2023 owing to an exceptionally dry rainy season that prevented a more serious outbreak.

El Niño may have caused an earlier increase in instances, according to Eric Tayag, Chief Information Officer and Undersecretary of Health for Public Health Services at the Department of Health (DOH). However, community behavior and the efficacy of put in place control measures will determine how severe dengue outbreaks go this year.

Therefore, it is therefore imperative that we use every tool in our anti-dengue armory to combat the disease. If we do not take action, there could be disastrous consequences, with over a thousand children dying when dengue strikes us hard once more.

The experts on the panel emphasized the importance of collective involvement in combating this disease. Speaking at the event, VSM Co-Founder Amor Maclang urged the entire nation to actively engage in the fight against Dengue, saying, “Public health issues can only be addressed if the private sector, the government, and the entire society take on the issue.”

Dr. Benny Atienza, Vice President of the Philippine Federation of Professional Associations and Immediate Past President of the Philippine Medical Association, provided an example of a joint effort involving children and adults in their lives. He noted the creation of catchy songs to creatively teach youngsters about the disease, allowing them to notice and successfully express symptoms to caregivers and medical professionals.

During the event, Dr. Vicente Belizario Jr., a respected Professor and Former Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of the Philippines Manila, as well as the President of the Philippine Academic Consortium for Public Health, emphasized the crucial role of media and journalists in raising dengue awareness among parents, guardians, and even teachers. He highlighted the significance of education in empowering individuals with knowledge about the disease, its symptoms, prevention methods, and the importance of early detection. Dr. Belizario recognized the media’s power to reach a wide audience through television, radio, newspapers, and online platforms, enabling the dissemination of accurate and up-to-date information about dengue..  “Media, we appeal to you to raise awareness sapagkat may kanya-kanya po tayong role para maka-iwas sa dengue [because we each have our own role to fulfill in Dengue prevention]”, said Dr. Belizario Jr., called out. 

With an incredible victory over COVID-19 vaccine disinformation, the Philippines has emerged as a global leader, ranking fourth in single-day vaccine uptake and providing an astounding 2.7 million vaccinations in a single day. Dr. Atienza mentioned this incredible accomplishment at the roundtable panel discussion, emphasizing the country’s ongoing commitment to public health. Boosted by this accomplishment, the Vaccine Solidarity Movement (VSM) is now leading efforts to combat dengue and other vaccine-preventable diseases, reinforcing its commitment to protecting the public’s well-being, particularly among children.


Tito Raffy

is the founder of Tech Patrol, a technology blog established in 2010. When he's not blogging, he dabbles in crypto chart reading and operates his e-Commerce business as a side hustle. You can reach him through his social media profiles below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button