Cagayan de Oro City

Cagayan de Oro health chief urges vigilance in anti-dengue drive despite fewer cases

Cong Corrales

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Cagayan de Oro health chief urges vigilance in anti-dengue drive despite fewer cases

FIGHTING DENGUE. Alma Valleser, a Cagayan de Oro City Health Office educator, teaches dengue prevention techniques in one of the city's public schools.

Cagayan de Oro City Health Office

Cagayan de Oro health officials note a 28% decrease in dengue cases in the city from January to May compared to the same period in 2022

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The Cagayan de Oro City Health Office (CHO) on Wednesday, June 21, called for public vigilance in the campaign against dengue fever, despite a marginal decrease in the number of reported cases. 

As of May, the CHO recorded 482 cases, prompting Cagayan de Oro’s health chief, Dr. Rachel Dilla, to stress the need for preventative measures.

Dilla showed the statistics, indicating a comparative reduction in dengue cases. From January to February, the CHO documented 165 and 145 cases, respectively. The number of dengue cases subsequently went down to 63 in March, 58 in April, and 51 in May.

“This is 28% lower compared to the period last year when we had 676 dengue fever cases [from January to May 2022],” Dilla told Rappler.

She said the local government campaign to keep the mosquito-borne disease under control would continue even as she urged residents to remain proactive and take necessary precautions to ward off dengue fever.

Dilla advised residents to seek early consultation at the nearest health center if one has been having a fever for two to three days and to avail of city hall’s free dengue tests.

“Since we are in the rainy season already, let’s be vigilant against dengue fever. Cover all water containers because dengue-carrying mosquitoes breed in clear and still water. Keep yourself hydrated, especially when you have a fever,” she said.

Aside from the free tests for dengue, the CHO has also started going around public schools for its “Family Health Advocacy Campaign for Partners” and this would continue for the remainder of the year, she said.

The program is in partnership with barangay health workers of the city’s 80 barangays to take the lead in raising awareness not only on dengue prevention but also on other diseases.

“But we [focus on] dengue cases, especially in our public schools,” CHO health education officer Reagan Abbu said during the “Health Watch” online program of the City Information Office (CIO).

To complement the education campaign on dengue prevention, city hall’s sanitation inspectors have been distributing insecticidal nets to the city’s public schools.

“As of now, we’ve distributed these nets to nearly all public schools in the city. These treated nets are hung at the windows or the doors of the classrooms to help ward off dengue-carrying mosquitoes,” Abbu said.

Officials have also encouraged residents to do their part in keeping the mosquito-borne virus at bay.

Abbu said residents should actively clean up and destroy the breeding grounds of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

“It’s better that we don’t reach the endemic threshold because once that happens, stricter measures will be undertaken. It’s a good thing we were able to keep the numbers down. So we should remind the public to clean our surroundings to prevent outbreaks,” Abbu said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades.

One of WHO’s modeling estimates shows that there are 390 million dengue virus infections per year worldwide. –

Cong Corrales is an Aries Rufo Journalism fellow.

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