By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY—The 12 government hospitals in Iloilo province are overflowing with dengue patients following the outbreak of the disease.
Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. admitted the hospitals were running out of rooms for dengue patients.
“But not all hospitals have patients overflowing along halls or corridors,” Defensor noted after inspecting the medical facilities.
Dr. Paz Calopiz, Hospital Management Office acting chief, said the outbreak increased the occupancy rate by 305 percent, with dengue patients staying for an average of four to five days.
As of Wednesday, the district hospital in Balasan town had an occupancy rate of 960 percent. With a 25-bed capacity, the hospital has 243 patients that include 138 people with dengue.
The 10-bed district hospital in Barotac Veijo town was also spilling over with 26 dengue patients.
Calopiz told Manila Bulletin that patients being referred to the two government hospitals in Iloilo City had to be turned away. The city itself has a high number of dengue cases.
Defensor welcomed more donations of folding beds from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC Iloilo) and philanthropist Tommy Que.
The Department of Health (DOH) in Eastern Visayas was also struggling to cope with the rising number of dengue cases in the region.
DOH regional information officer John Paul Roca said 4,550 cases, with 19 deaths, were reported from January to July this year.
Roca said 504 dengue cases were recorded in Northern Samar, mostly clustered in the barangays of Lipata in Allen town, Macagtas in Catarman town; and Poblacion in Rosario town.
Authorities noticed high incidence of larvae in those areas, mainly because of the many breeding sites of the dengue-carrying mosquito.
“We have already conducted health interventions through health education, barangay assemblies and massive information dissemination in the concerned barangays,” Roca said.
He urged the public to help in the destruction of mosquito breeding places.
“DOH cannot do this alone. The community should have consistent self protecting measures to prevent dengue from spreading,” Roca added.
In Sta. Fe, Leyte, the local government unit (LGU) intends to declare a state of calamity after the municipal health office reported 120 dengue cases.
“We will validate the report, because the findings from the DOH will serve as the basis if they will declare a state of calamity,” Roca noted.
DOH continues to provide technical assistance to local governments by providing rapid dengue testing, fogging and misting machine and information campaigns.
He said people should not just rely on fogging because it only kills fly¬ing mosquitoes and not their eggs.
He also reminded the parents to seek early consultation if their children show any symptoms of diseases, because the late diagnosis of such diseases often leads to death.
Last year, dengue cases in the re¬gion rose to over 10,000 with 60 deaths, the second highest from 2010, which had 12,000 cases. (with a report from Marie Tonette Marticio)