Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot is planning to consult the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in a bid to come up with measures to compel local government units (LGU) of towns significantly affected by the dengue disease to declare an outbreak.
The move was considered by the PHO after 12 towns were advised by the Department of Health (DOH) to declare a dengue outbreak but none have so far complied.
“Mangutana ko og naa bay mahimong action ang [DILG],” said Cabagnot. “Wa pa ta kahibaw unsy pwede himuon sa DILG og mapugos ba ni sila kay under man sa DILG ning mga LGUs.”
The following towns have been advised by the DOH to declare a dengue outbreak:
- Garcia Hernandez
The number of towns recommended to be placed under an outbreak status was already 25 percent of Bohol’s 47 towns and lone city.
“Last year, dihay lima ka lungsod na gi-rekomendar sa DOH nga mo-declare og outbreak pero way bisa’g usa na mi deklarar. Agtong mga duha ka buwang niagi, 12 na ka lungsod ang gi rekomendar sa DOH na padeklarahon og outbreak, wa gihapon bisa’g usa mideklarar. Kanang 12, 25 percent na na sa tanang LGUs sa ato,” said Cabagnot.
According to Cabagnot, the number of dengue cases would not have soared as much if the towns had declared an outbreak, noting that the LGUs would have had access to emergency funds if such declaration was made.
“Dunay silay access sa emergency funds. Kada lungsod dunay may ngana. So kung unsy gusto nilang paliton nga ipangontra nato sa dengue, mas dali sila makapalit kay emergency man ang nature kay outbreak na gud ang sitwasyon. Mao ng makapalit sila dayon kaysa mo agi pa ka og bidding, pwede e-question pud ka sa COA,” he said.
While LGUs have refused to place their towns under outbreak status which would help them to expedite the purchase of anti-dengue equipment, the PHO’s 11 misting machines have been lent out to hospitals and municipalities and have been highly in demand.
According to Cabagnot, the PHO’s misting machines were not enough to cover the needs of all the affected towns.
“Duhay mo gamit ani [machines], hospital og kadtong mga kalungsuran na dunay tag-as og kaso sa dengue.Sa hospital, gamit ni nila sa pagpanghinlo sa ilang operating room, delivery room ug sa ilang mga laboratories. Unya karon mura’g nanggi-ilog ni sila,” said Cabagnot.
Cabagnot explained that an increase of around 30 percent percent in the average number of cases in a certain number of months was one factor considered when declaring an outbreak.
“Ang usa ka lungsod na irekomendar sa DOH na dapat na magdeklara og outbreak or epedemic kung sobra sa katunga or bisag 30 porsyento sa mga kaso na gi tan-aw nato sa milabay na pila ka buwan ‘nya mi kalit og saka,” he said.
The World Health Organization meanwhile defines “epidemic threshold” as the critical number or density of susceptible hosts required for an epidemic to occur.
The threshold is used to confirm the emergence of an epidemic so that appropriate control measures may be implemented.
Based on data released by the DOH-Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit 7 on Monday, the number of dengue cases in Bohol from January 1 to May 25, 2019 soared to 1,419 from just 177 in the same period last year, marking a staggering 702 percent increase.
A total of 11 individuals succumbed to complications of the mosquito-borne disease during the almost five-month span in 2019, up from just three deaths recorded in the same period last year. (A. Doydora)