The Department of Health (DOH) on June 15 led the conduct of the 2021 Asean Dengue Day Regional Forum in observance of the National Dengue Awareness Month with the theme “ASEAN Unite Against Dengue Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic”.
Proclamation No. 1204 series 1998 declares the month of June as the National Dengue Awareness Month. For this year’s celebration, the Philippines was identified as the lead country for the celebration of the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dengue Day. Participants shared their best practices in the prevention and control of dengue within the region amidst the COVID-19 pandemic during the Asean Dengue Day Regional forum.
The Philippines has shared the progress in its dengue prevention and control since the Declaration of the National Epidemic in August 2019. Data shows that there has been an 81% decrease in dengue cases and deaths for 2020 compared to 2019. Based on the Philippine Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response Report, there is an observed continued 55% decrease in cases and 56% decrease in deaths during the same time period.
The DOH underscored that such a milestone can be attributed to the implementation of “Guidelines for the Nationwide Implementation of the Enhanced 4S-Strategy against Dengue, Chikungunva and Zika”. The main strategies include: 1) Search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites; 2) Self-protection (i.e., wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and daily use of mosquito repellent); 3) Seeking early consultation; and 4) Support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas in anticipation of increased infectious diseases, especially during the rainy season.
To further strengthen its prevention measures, the DOH, through the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau (DPCB), has released policy issuances related to the current Dengue activities such as Department Order No. 2020-0536, titled “Guidelines in the Conduct of a Dengue Mortality Review”, and Administrative Order No. 2021-0009, titled “Guidelines for the Establishment of Dengue Centers of Excellence (COEs) in Tertiary Hospitals''. These interventions aim to identify current gaps in clinical management and to improve the service delivery for dengue.
Despite the decreasing trend, Centers for Health Development (CHDs) and Local Government Units (LGUs) are encouraged to continuously implement the Enhanced 4S-Strategy to meet our goal. Likewise, everyone is enjoined to take part in the social media challenges in place such as the BIDA+ 4S OOTD Challenge and the Kapihan session that took place on June 17, 2021 to learn more about the DOH program on National Aedes-borne Viral Diseases Prevention and Control Program.
Recording of the Kapihan Session can be accessed via: https://bit.ly/3xpy3FW