Dagupan CHO belies report of 100 percent increase in dengue

DAGUPAN CITY, — The City Health Office (CHO) has belied a report that Dagupan City has registered a 100 percent increase in dengue cases for the first half of 2016 as compared to the reported cases for the same period in 2015.

In a press statement on Tuesday, Dr. Windy Balingit- Bernardo, CHO’s program coordinator for Dengue Prevention and Control, said that on the contrary, cases of dengue was reduced this year by around 20 to 30 percent as compared to the number of cases recorded last year.

She clarified that while there had been a substantial increase in the number of reported cases of dengue in the city in recent months, the overall forecast for 2016 as compared to the data gathered during the same period last year reflected a 20-30 percent reduction in the prevalence of the disease.

“This is based on data provided by the Department of Health (DOH) Regional Office 1 updated as of Morbidity Week 29. These figures are based on data from the different hospitals in the city which are duly validated and authenticated by designated CHO personnel. The apparent discrepancy in the figures reported may be attributed to a substantial percentage of reported cases being dengue fever suspect patients,” said Bernardo.

Bernardo further clarified that once a case of dengue fever has been admitted to a health care facility in Dagupan, the particular case is not automatically registered in the CHO census unless the patient is a bonafide resident of the city and/or has a registered place of study/work in the city.

“It is a known fact that a reasonably substantial percentage of patients who reside in Pangasinan, La Union, and even the Ilocos Region prefer to seek medical consultation/medication/referral in the city. It is not far-fetched therefore to surmise that at any time, a fairly significant number of patients who consult health care facilities in Dagupan are not actually residents, students or workers indigenous to the area,” said Bernardo adding that there is also a possibility that some of the patients who sought/consulted were actually dengue suspect cases.

Bernardo disclosed that per the directive of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, the CHO has already fully implemented the Dengue Prevention and Control Program in the barangays as early as March through the A-B-K-D or Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue, 4 o’clock habit and 4S activities.

Fogging activities, she said, had likewise been conducted in areas where clustering of cases had been identified while the city distributed insecticide-laced mosquito nets/curtains to around 20 public schools.

“Regular house-to-house visits in problematic areas have been conducted to emphasize the need for sanitation and hygienic practices to curb vector proliferation,” said Bernardo. PNA/northboundasia.com