By Nora Sorino and Frank Dosdos of GSD-Iligan Bureau,
Jigger J. Jerusalem and Edwin Iyo,
ILIGAN City — This city is now under a state of calamity due to the dengue health crisis.
The city council on Tuesday passed a resolution that gave the green light to the state of calamity declaration even as it authorized Mayor Celso Regencia to use city hall’s calamity fund in the anti-dengue campaign.
Dr. Cherlina Canaveral, Iligan city health officer, said the local government has an P8-million budget to buy equipment like fogging machines in an effort to prevent the number of dengue cases in the city from increasing.
Canaveral said city hall has documented over 1,000 dengue cases and 14 dengue-related deaths so far in the city this year.
City hall and the Department of Health in Region 10 launched their so-called “war on dengue” in Barangay Tubod here Tuesday.
Tubod ranked second in terms of the number of dengue cases in the city.
“Ang dengue dili madutlan sa atong machinegun ug sa mga firearms sa atong kapolisan,” Regencia said.
Department of Health director Adriano Suba-an called the dengue situation in Iligan alarming, pointing out that 1,113 cases and 14 dengue-related cases so far this year were recorded.
Suba-an said the Iligan even has more dengue cases than Cagayan de Oro.
In Gingoog City, Mayor Erick Cañosa appealed for public support in the local government’s anti-dengue campaign. He said concerned government agencies, barangay officials and citizens should help each other.
Cañosa issued an executive order to make barangays officials in Gingoog start their respective clean-up campaigns and to “search and destroy” mosquito breeding grounds in villages.
He said barangay officials in Gingoog should take the lead.
Rey Napone of the Gingoog city health office said the number of dengue cases recorded in the city from January to Aug. 21 reached 500. It showed an increase in 19 cases compared to the same period last year.
In Gingoog, health officials also recorded one dengue-related death. There were three dengue-related deaths in the city last year though.
Napone said local officials were alarmed because the figures show a 60-percent increase in dengue cases during the period.
“Walay lain solution pag-control batok dengue mao lang gyud ang regular nga pagpanghinlo labi na diha sa posibling itlogan sa mga lamok,” Mayor Cañosa said.
In Cagayan de Oro where local officials launched an anti-dengue campaign this week, Mayor Oscar Moreno said there must no longer be a room for complacency in combating this disease.
Cagayan de Oro has been placed under a state of calamity due to the dengue cases earlier.
“This is needed. We cannot take this lightly as it has already reached an alarming level,” Moreno said, referring to the city government’s anti-dengue efforts.
“We are actually aiming to have zero case, especially that we are still in August and the ‘dengue months’ (September to November) are still to come,” he added.
Moreno said the people of Cagayan de Oro must not wait for the dengue cases to further rise.
“We must be determined to eradicate dengue. We must act as early as now. This is like a declaration of war against dengue,” he said.
To show it was bent on eradicating dengue in Cagayan de Oro, local officials led by Moreno and Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy, launched the anti-dengue campaign.
Moreno and Uy personally initiated the fogging operation in Zone 1, Barangay Patag, late Tuesday afternoon.
According to the Cagayan de Oro city health office, Patag is among the villages with most number of dengue patients, with 83 cases.
Barangay Carmen registered the highest number of dengue incidents with 220 cases.
Uy said the local government has not encouraged fogging due to the cost and its effect, but noted that it is needed now to eliminate dengue in the city.
Dr. Claire Paglinawan, Cagayan de Oro city health office chief for infectious diseases, said there are now 1,974 cases of dengue, with 16 deaths, in Cagayan de Oro.
She said it has been projected that dengue incidence will peak in certain months of the year, but they did not expect that the number of cases would be higher this year.
Early this month, the DOH declared a national dengue epidemic owing to the rising cases that surpassed last year’s data.
Following that declaration, the DOH-10 announced Northern Mindanao as exceeding the epidemic threshold.
In a recent press conference, DOH-10 director Suba-an said the region’s dengue cases this year are 62.54 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
Per latest data from the health department, there have already been 17,701 cases from January to Aug. 17, 2019 in Northern Mindanao, with 70 deaths, affecting one to 10 years old male individuals.