By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – Health authorities placed some parts of Northeastern Mindanao under “Code White Alert” due to the rising cases of dengue.
A total of 7, 529 dengue cases region-wide had been reported to the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) for the reporting period of January 1-December 31, 2018.
“This is 186.2% higher compared to the 2, 631 total cases in 2017,” health officials said during an emergency media forum at one of the hotel and convention center here late Thursday afternoon.
Majority of the cases came from Surigao del Sur (2, 197 cases) and Bislig City (539 cases). Hot spot barangays identified in the Caraga region are: Barangays Taglatawan and Poblacion of Bayugan City (Agusan del Sur); Barangays Doongan, Ambago, Mahogany, Libertad and Barangay 21 of Poblacion, all of Butuan City; Barangay Doyos of Carrascal town, Surigao del Sur; Barangays Tagasaka, La Casa Poblacion and Roxas, all of Hinatuan town, Surigao del Sur; Barangays Poblacion and Sabang of Lingig town of Surigao del Sur province and Barangay Rizal of Surigao City.
Based on the latest data received by the DOH 13 from the various Disease Reporting Units (DRUs), 36 deaths were already recorded as of December 2018 with the victims’ ages ranging from 3 to 79 years old.
The Health Emergency Management Unit (HEMU) issued an extension of “Code White Alert” effective Thursday afternoon, identified designated areas to accommodate the surge of patients, strengthened referral system, and monitored on a daily basis the patient census.
“Code White Alert” also means that all surveillance health facilities region-wide must be activated, augmented with medical supplies, fluids, and medicines.
Dengue Fast Lanes (DFL) must be implemented in hospitals and officials and personnel thereat must closely coordinate with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for blood products and needs.
“With the significant increase in the number of dengue cases, officials of the regional office of the DOH 13 called for the combined efforts of the local government units (LGUs) and the community to address this state.
“We urge the communities, especially the barangay councils to lead an intensified 4S campaign: Search and Destroy, Use of Self Protection Measures, Seek Early Consultation, and Saying NO to Indiscriminate Fogging Campaign in their barangays,” DOH 13 Regional Director Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, Jr. stressed.
“In times like these, responsibility towards protecting the community falls on the shoulders of every member of that community,” Llacuna stressed, adding that collective effort and unity is needed to combat dengue cases.