Iligan City declares ‘state of calamity’ amid spike in dengue cases

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Iligan City dengue state of calamity

Government chiefs in Iligan City have declared a “state of calamity” following an alarming increase of dengue cases in the area.

Dengue cases have so far reached 1,138 with 14 deaths so far this year, the Iligan City Health Office said today (Wednesday, August 21).

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Nationwide, cases have topped 188,000 since an official epidemic was declared earlier this month.

City Health Officer Cherlina Caṅaveral said the declaration authorised the local government to use the more than eight million pesos as a rapid response fund against the mosquito-borne disease.

Ms Caṅaveral said the money would be used to buy protective gear, fogging machines, medicines, “olyset nets” and chemicals necessary to combat the spread of the virus.

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Part of the funds will also be used for information and education campaign against dengue, she added.

Dr Adrian Subaan, Department of Health-Region 10 officer-in-charge, said the agency declared an outbreak here after it recorded 14 deaths this year — the highest in Northern Mindanao.

In comparison, the neighbouring Cagayan de Oro City has recorded only nine deaths.

The DOH records also showed that Lanao del Norte ranked third in the number of dengue cases in Region 10, with Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental provinces ranking first and second, respectively.

“Why is it alarming? The acceptable case fatality rate is only .4 percent, meaning we failed to respond to the problem. We are way beyond the acceptable fatality rate. We should exert extra efforts in combating against dengue,” Dr Subaan said.

The Iligan government launched Tuesday a city-wide cleanup that aims to mobilise villages in the fight against dengue.

Mayor Celso Regencia also warned that barangay officials who do not have anti-dengue initiatives will be sanctioned.

He also called on his constituents to add two more “s” — Sustain anti-dengue activities, and Social dialogue — to the government’s 4S strategies against dengue: search and destroy, self-protection, seek early consultation and say “yes” to fogging.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has set up a dengue emergency medical tent in front of the City Hospital as an alternative hydration station.

Dr Subaan said the two-bed capacity air-conditioned tent is in anticipation of the increasing number of dengue cases in the city.

Aside from the PRC’s dengue emergency medical tent as alternative hydration station, Dr Subaan has also called on the city government to prepare other medical facilities in the barangays such as birthing stations for dengue patients.

“These are other options to accommodate all patients. We want to avoid previous cases that patients are not accommodated and were asked to go home instead,” he said.

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