Solon warns of a looming widespread dengue epidemic

August 31, 2010 11:20 am 

MANILA, Aug. 30 — A lawmaker has warned of looming crisis which is threatening to become a full-blown dengue epidemic in the country.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara said that while the national government through the Department of Health (DoH) has claimed that it had already intensified its dengue prevention information campaign, only a handful of local government and barangay officials are apparently aware of the gravity of dengue problem that even showbiz personalities who mostly live in airconditioned homes have been afflicted by the mosquito-borne disease.

"The admission of the Department of Health that there is a 75 percent increase in dengue cases nationwide is a very serious concern that should be immediately addressed by the national government," he said.

"While we commend the appointment of presidential sister Kris Aquino as the government's ambassador against dengue, we need more concrete steps to ensure that these dengue-carrying mosquitoes will not find their way into out homes, our schools, our offices and elsewhere," he said.

Angara said that barangay officials in cities and provinces which have recorded cases of dengue should be immediately mobilized for major clean-up drive on all possible breeding sites of dengue mosquitoes such vacant lots, esteros and even including less noticeable items like flower vases and empty containers.

Nearby cities and provinces should do the same as a preemptive measure against the dreaded viral disease, he said.

In the long-term, Angara said the DoH should intensify its research for the development of a an effective anti-dengue vaccine or the development of a drug that can immediately cure dengue victims.

He said that the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences seems to be close in achieving a breakthrough as it is now testing a vaccine in Cebu to children aged six to 14 years old.

"Let's hope and pray that the tests will turn out positive. We need a long term and permanent solution to this dengue problem. We should not allow dengue to reach epidemic state because this would be more tragic than what happened during the hostage crisis at the Quirino grandstand," the solon said. (PNA)



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