Marikina City has the lowest incidence of dengue in the National Capital Region and is the only one that has fewer cases now compared to last year’s. Mayor Del De Guzman attributes this to the determination of local officials to lick the problem, and the cooperation of its residents to keep their surroundings clean.
According to Dr. Anthony San Juan of Regional Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit- Center for Health Development for Metro Manila (RESU-CHDMM), Marikina has the lowest number of cases in National Capital Region (NCR).
In 2010, 292 dengue cases were reported in the city from the months January to August. But in 2011 of the same period, the number dropped to 245, recording a change rate of -16%.
According to De Guzman, the local government attributed the decrease in the occurrence of dengue to the local government’s focused anti-dengue campaign not only during the rainy season as dengue is a year-round disease.
“We are encouraging all other local government units to prioritize and be consistent in implementing programs that will eradicate dengue in their respective areas,” De Guzman said.
According to Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Honnielyn Fernando, the City Health Office (CHO) conducts a year-round health education campaign focusing on dengue to communities with constant reminder to parents to clean their surroundings especially possible mosquito breeding areas.
In the second quarter of the year, the CHO has met with barangay and city officials, non-government organizations, and school officials regarding their consistency of the campaign against the disease.
Other local government offices are also actively doing their tasks to keep dengue at bay. The City Environmental Management Office (CEMO) takes charge of regular clean-up drives while the City Engineering Office conducts citywide declogging activities to prevent stagnation of water in the passages such as canals.
Moreover, the city government conducts preventive fogging and space spraying in all over Marikina , puts larvicides in canals, and sets Olyset (mosquito repellant-treated nets) in public schools to kill mosquitoes that might carry dengue virus.
According to CHO, Marikina uses up 1,155 liters of fogging chemicals each year as well as 800 liters of larvacide which is jointly funded by Department of Health and the local government.
For suspected, probable and confirmed dengue patients, the CHO also offers free complete blood count (CBC) test and free medicine for hydration and paracetamol.
“We are sharing our anti-dengue practices with other LGUs in the hope that they will benefit from them and challenge them into minimizing dengue in their own backyards” De Guzman added.