Philippine Red Cross responds to dengue upsurge in CAR

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As the increasing cases of dengue continuously sweep the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Philippine Red Cross (PRC) extended their response through conducting their Basic Health and Care Unit (BHCU) operation to aid the dengue patients last July 30 in La Trinidad, Benguet.

According to the Department of Health – CAR data, Benguet has already increased three-fold from 2015’s record of 260 cases to a total of 1,890 cases starting from January to June 26, 2016. Death cases from the municipality of La Trinidad and Tuba have also been reported this year – five from La Trinidad and one from Tuba, respectively.

In response to the rising dengue cases and the lack of medical facilities in the province, PRC in coordination with the local government unit of the municipality has set up a BHCU that served as an extension ward of the Benguet General Hospital and Dengue Emergency Fast Lane.

The team installed a ward extension with a 20-bed capacity for suspected patients and another 10-bed capacity that is expandable to 12-bed capacity was also put up for pediatric and observation dengue patients. Moreover to ensure a systematic operation and enough medical supplies, they put up an area for storage and administration, as well.

A team composed of two technicians and two nurses together with Health in Disasters and Emergencies (HIDE) officers will be able to monitor the BHCU.

As of August 3, PRC’s BHCU is serving one patient at their recovery room and five patients confined at their Medical/Pedia Ward.

Efforts began as early as January this year to address the dengue upsurge. PRC chapters – Benguet, Kalinga and Apayao Sub-Chapter, conducted a community mobilization in coordination with the local government unit officials from Itogon and Sablan to prioritize and cover affected areas.

The Benguet Chapter also seeks partnership to different private organizations and companies such as HedCor Inc. and San Roque Power Corporation to support their Dengue Community mobilization to different affected municipalities.

Senator Richard Gordon, PRC CEO and chairman, immediately urged the chapters to remain vigilant and to mobilize all resources needed. PRC deployed two Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion (WaSH) personnel from PRC La Union and Pangasinan Chapters who led the Red Cross 143 volunteers in conducting a Dengue Prevention sessions and provided Dengue Information, Education, Communication (IEC) materials to different barangays.

“Everyday, we closely monitor the areas affected of the dengue upsurge and activated our RC 143 volunteers for standby blood donors in case needed. We encourage the public to donate blood to the PRC or other collecting blood agencies to help the dengue patients when it comes to blood transfusion,” plead Chairman Gordon.

Furthermore, Chairman Gordon alerted other Red Cross Chapters for a possible raise in dengue cases in their respective communities. “I ask our chapters nationwide to constantly monitor their area and immediately report to our Operations Center at the national headquarters in case there is dengue upsurge or any disease outbreaks that would require our assistance,” stated Chairman Gordon.

Chairman Gordon also advises the public to be more informed in terms of health awareness to avoid any harmful diseases and virus outbreaks.

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