11 Cebu City barangays ‘at risk’ for dengue infection

HEALTH officials in Cebu City urged the barangay captains to be proactive in preventing dengue fever now that the number of dengue cases and deaths continues to increase.Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, the Cebu City Health Department (CCHD) head, said from January 1, 2022 to June 3, 2022, the number of dengue cases in the city reached 590. At least 13 have died due to dengue fever.The number of cases so far this year has surpassed the total number of dengue cases reported in the whole of 2021, which was only 256 cases.Ibones said they have identified 11 barangays in the city which are considered at risk for dengue infection after they reported the highest number of dengue cases.These are Barangays Guadalupe (91 cases), Lahug (53), Poblacion Pardo (41), Inayawan (39), Mambaling (37), Kamputhaw (36), Punta Princesa (32), Talamban (31), Quiot-Pardo (28), Capitol Site (20) and Tisa (20).In a meeting with officials of CCHD and the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCDRRMC) on Friday, June 3, city officials invited the chiefs of the 11 barangays to report how they plan to address the increase in the number of dengue cases in their villages.Ibones said they sought the assistance of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to compel the officials of these barangays to implement their own dengue prevention measures.Ibones emphasized the need to increase awareness on the dangers of dengue and the need to clean up the surroundings to prevent the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the dengue virus.Lawyer and former Cebu City councilor Gerardo Carillo, who heads the CCDRRMC, has ordered the reactivation of the barangay dengue task force in the 11 barangays, which will focus on cleaning the surroundings and destroying possible breeding grounds of mosquitoes.Carillo said they agreed with city health officials to organize information dissemination drives across the city to remind the public about dengue prevention measures.He said he also plans to reactivate the city’s dengue hotline, which the public can use to provide information on possible dengue hotspots.The public can call the hotline to report if they have family members showing symptoms of dengue fever.The hotline can help dispatch first responders to get affected individuals to a hospital so they can be treated immediately.Dengue testing and treatment for dengue patients at the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) will be free, said Carillo.“We need to reinforce our dengue hotline and encourage them to report. The City will shoulder the expenses so they won’t have anything to worry about,” Carillo added.Carillo said the CCMC currently has a dengue fast lane for patients who show early signs and symptoms of dengue.They are also planning to ask the private sector’s help in the campaign against dengue.