DOH-12 pushes for 4 o’clock habit to fight dengue
By Catherine T. Apelacio
GENERAL SANTOS CITY, June 24 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH)-12 has urged the public to aggressively start the 4 o’clock habit to prevent cases of dengue from rising.
DOH-12 regional director Dr. Marilyn Convocar said the best strategy to fight dengue is to practice religiously the 4 o'clock habit at home and in the communities on daily basis.
The campaign is themed “Sugpuin ang Dengue! Mag 4 o’clock Habit araw araw: Stop, Look, Listen. Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue. Pagtibayin!”
At a belated celebration of the ASEAN Dengue Day on Tuesday (June 18) here, Convocar told the public that though the advocacy is titled 4 o’clock habit, they can start sprucing up their surroundings at any time of their convenience.
The ASEAN Dengue Day, which was celebrated early on June 15, started here with a morning parade and participated in by local officials, health workers, health advocates, to include the civil society organizations.
The event was aimed at intensifying and heightening the knowledge and awareness of the people on dengue disease and how it can be prevented.
Convocar underscored that dengue can happen to everyone irregardless of social standing urging everybody including the media to join in the campaign and do their share.
She also encouraged the communities to listen to their respective barangay officials especially now that they have become fully involved in the implementation of the campaign through the Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue or ABKD.
“Barangay officials should be the frontlines in the advocacy of the government not just about health but also other vital programs for the people,” said Joseph Alvin Veneracion, barangay chieftain of the Dadiangas South here.
DOH-12 entomologist Roy Boholst also explained that the 4 o’clock habit is primarily focused on “searching and destroying” mosquitoes’ breeding places that cause the dengue plague.
He also discouraged the practice of burning wastes or unnecessary fogging saying these strategies don’t kill the mosquitoes but only drive them away to find another breeding place.
Meanwhile, City Health Officer Edgardo Sandig said there are already 987 recorded dengue cases in the city with nine deaths for the period January 1 to June 8.
When asked what could have triggered the death, Sandig cited “delayed referrals” could have contributed to the death. He then enjoined the public to go to their nearest barangay heath center describing this as community’s first line of defense.
Barangay chieftain Veneracion also reiterated that health centers are open for everyone for free check-up services and medicines.
“Healthy or not, one should consult the doctor,” he said, encouraging them also to visit lying-in centers that provide free check-up as well. He said there are seven lying-in centers that operate in the city.
Sandig admitted that dengue cases for the first quarter this year were higher compared to the same period last year.
But he said the local government in collaboration with DOH-12 is working very hard to control the disease from further increasing saying the “case shouldn’t reach 1,000.”
He also thanked DOH-12 for extending manpower assistance that did a month-long surveillance in identified dengue hotspots here.
Aside from that, DOH augmented the city’s provision of medicine supplies to help address dengue cases, he added.
According to DOH-12, incidents of dengue for the entire Region 12 for the same period January 1 to June 8, 2013, have reached 4,182 with a total of 22 deaths already comprised mostly of children. (CT Apelacio/With Lipsy Grace Carayo/PIA-12 General Santos City)