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Info drive being mounted on dengue control strategy

BAGUIO CITY – An information-education campaign (IEC) is being developed here for a community-based dengue fever control strategy focusing on the use of net cover on water containers as a deterrent to the spread of the dreaded disease.

The IEC is a special project of the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Dept. of Health-Center for Health Development Cordillera (CHD-CAR) and the Baguio Health Department (BHD) aimed at curbing the incidence of dengue in the country.

The city has been chosen as pilot area for the project.

Elvira Flora, head of the Health Education and Promotion Office (HEPO) of the BHD said they are now in process of evaluating the IEC materials produced as a component method of the project.

A primary group was formed composed of representatives from the various government and private agencies to conduct a first-level evaluation of the IEC materials comprised of posters, brochures, flipcharts, streamers, buntings, stickers, leaflets and others.

The said group completed the preliminary assessment last February 8 where observations and critiques were made on the produced materials based on their applicability and effectiveness as medium for the information campaign.

Flora said the materials will again be subjected to a second-level evaluation in the coming days this time in the barangay level where a group of barangay residents chosen from random sampling and representing the cross section of the society will also give their inputs on the materials.

A post-evaluation will also be conducted to finalize the materials before they will be reproduced for distribution to the target clientele.

The IEC development is done hand in hand with the experimentations also being conducted in the city on the effectiveness of net cover in drums and other water containers in deterring the entry and breeding of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

Flora said the pilot test began last October in barangays Kias and Bakakeng where residents were asked to use nets to cover their water containers for a year.

Continuous monitoring will be done for one year to determine whether or not the use of the net is an effective anti-dengue tool and if proven, the use of the nets will be adopted as a permanent anti-dengue strategy.

Dengue has been considered as a year-round health risk in the country when the cases soared to higher levels in various parts of the country last year.

In the city, Mayor Mauricio Domogan has a standing order to the BHD to continue implementing all necessary preventive measures to avert the further increase of dengue fever cases in the city.

BHD dengue program coordinator Nick Guanzon said the BHD is continually advocating the so-called “4S Strategy” in its anti-dengue campaign in the barangays.

The 4S stands for Search and Destroy which involves the clean-up of surroundings and removal of stagnant water that serves as breeding ground for the deadly mosquitoes; Seek Protective Garment which prescribes the use of long garments, mosquito nets along with the use of insect repellants to protect the body from mosquito bites; Secure Immediate Medical Consultation where persons with dengue fever symptoms are advised to seek medical attention; and the Say No to Indiscriminate Fumigation and Say Yes to Fumigation only in times of Outbreak.

Dengue fever is an infection caused by dengue virus which is transmitted by the bite of an infective female Aedes mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes are “day biters” and biting activities peak at 6-8:00 in the morning and at 4-6 p.m. in the afternoon.

The signs and symptoms of dengue fever are: on-and-off fever lasting for two to seven days; loss of appetite; nausea/vomiting; abdominal pain; body weakness; small reddish spots on chest area, arms and legs; bleeding signs (nose and gum bleeding, vomiting blood, bloody stools and abdominal pain); restlessness; weak, rapid pulse; cold, clammy skin; and difficulty in breathing.

Persons that manifest these symptoms must remember the following:   High fever should be treated by sponging and giving paracetamol and not aspirin as it may cause bleeding and/or gastric irritation and must increase fluid intake or use oral rehydration solution.

Guanzon said persons with second stage symptoms like flu-like symptoms, bleeding, abdominal pain must be brought to immediately to the nearest health center or hospital for treatment.

 
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