LEGAZPI CITY, March 7 (PNA) -- Stakeholders in the Bicol Region are now ready with a cooperative approach to the elimination of dengue fever, which they believe is the best approach.
Led by Department of Science and Technology Assistant Secretary Urduja Tejada, the multi-sectoral stakeholders launched over the weekend the Bicol Integrated Dengue Vector Management Program (BIDVMP) to eliminate dengue fever in Bicol.
"This is the first integrated program against dengue fever in the country and Bicol is now a model for other regions in the country,” said Tejada during the launch of the BICVMP at the Ninong’s Hotel here, which was attended by DOST-Bicol Regional Director Tomas Briñas, Department of Education (DepEd)-Legazpi City Division Superintendent Cecille Bernadette and representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior And Local Government (DILG) and DepEd.
Tejada cited the call of global experts to do something fast against the global dengue pandemic which is being aggravated by the El Nino weather phenomenon.
Health experts are urging government in the region to work together and make collaborative efforts to combat the spread of dengue in Asia which, based on reports, has the highest incidence of the disease in the world.
“The Philippines is one of the countries in Asia with high number of dengue cases,” the DOST official said.
The project aims to adopt the Global Strategic Framework for Integrated Vector Management by the World Health Organization through advocacy, social mobilization and legislation, evidence-based decision-making, integrated vector control approach, capacity building and inter-sectoral collaboration.
The NSVSP program started from laboratory development, field testing and roll-out of Ovi-Larvicidal(OL) Trap System in selected barangays nationwide in 2010 and followed by school-based roll-out in 2012.
Through time, the project has evolved as the Nationwide Dengue Vector Surveillance Program.
The implementation of the NDVSP was integrated with the Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue (ABKD).
During the training programs, Briñas emphasized the involvement of the community, prompting the issuance of DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2012-16.
Through this, more schools, barangays and local government units have become aware and active partners of the program.
The DOH, DENR and other stakeholders have continuously implemented their respective strategies such as 4s, Olyst nets, dengue treatment, epidemiological surveillance, environmental management and advocacies.
Maria Cecilia Pan, Entomologist III of the Regional Mosquito-borne Disease Coordinator of the DOH, said despite the implementation of various strategies to contain dengue in a community, some 2,689 dengue cases have been recorded, which resulted in 11 deaths in Bicol last year.
“The case fatality is still 0.44 percent less than one percent,” Pan said.
Based on the target accomplishment for 2015, some 2,689 cases were expected but the actual cases were lower at 2,000 cases.
“So there was an 18-percent drop in the number of dengue cases in Bicol last year,” Pan added.
The picture of dengue containment program at the provincial level showed a drop in the number of dengue cases in the provinces of Albay, Catanduanes and Sorsogon, except in the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Masbate.
“From 2013 to 2015, dengue cases in Masbate are alarming,” she said, suggesting there’s a need to conduct search and destroy mosquito breeding grounds, involved the community in dengue eradication programs and implementation of the 4 o’clock habit.
Lhea Dyn Bellen, SRSI and Regional Program Coordinator from DOST, stressed the importance of implementing the Dengue Early Warming System through the implementation of the Nationwide Vector Surveillance Program OL Trapping and website monitoring.
Bellen said Singapore was able to contain dengue fever due to its effective use of an early warning system.
In some communities, dengue virus transmission leads to a dengue outbreak, if not immediately addressed.
At present, it is not only dengue virus that is threatening the community due to the presence of Aedes aegypti mosquito as vector. It has been established that chikungunya and zika virus are also transmitted by the similar vector.
Briñas said that in March 2015, the lead agencies that actively supported and implemented the program signed a memorandum of agreement for the creation of the Bicol Integrated Dengue Vector Management Program.
He said the aim is to create policy guidelines and develop dengue prevention and control strategies for adoption of local communities or local government units as well as all public and private sectors, strengthen promotion and integration of all strategies for dengue prevention and control following the IVM strategic framework, reduce and prevent incidence of dengue cases, continuously undertake scientific and technological research and development for improvement of vector-borne disease epidemiology, entomology surveillance and control technology, and adequate systems for program monitoring and quality control and lastly to strengthen political commitment and pooling of resources for improved and sustained efforts that can result in successful prevention and control of dengue fever.
“This covenant will mobilize all efforts towards effective vector control and incidence prevention of dengue and other mosquito borne diseases,” Briñas added.
DOST’s commitment to dengue prevention and control is the establishment and implementation of the Nationwide Dengue Vector Surveillance Program through OL Trapping and web-based information, www.dengue.ph that serves as dengue early warning system.
Dr. Napoleon Arevalo, DOH-Bicol regional director, said dengue fever was a seasonal ailment with the onset of the rainy season but it is now an endemic disease because it occurs throughout the year in Bicol.
Supporting the program are Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, the DILG, DOH, DepEd, DENR and DOST.
Taking part in the launching were the different provincial health officers from Bicol’s five provinces. (PNA) LAP/FGS/AT/CBD/EDS