The relaxation of anti-dengue measures particularly the reduced operations of the Purok Dengue Task Force (PDTF) has “largely” contributed in fueling the 1,198-percent surge in cases of the mosquito-borne disease in Bohol, an official said.
According to Leonidas Saniel, the Provincial Health Office’s (PHO) dengue program coordinator, the PDTF program, which was launched during the Chatto administration, was strictly implemented until the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020.
He said barangay officials shifted their focus on anti-COVID-19 measures since the health crisis erupted.
“Ang problema kay sukad pag pandemic, hing relax ang ilang task force tungod kay hing focus sila sa COVID. Pero karon nuon na nawawa na ang COVID, wa pa gihapon sila mo lihok,” Saniel said.
Through the Provincial Dengue Ordinance, municipalities and barangay were directed to facilitate the organization of the PDTF units in each of the village’s seven puroks.
They were tasked to conduct weekly operations to destroy possible mosquito breeding grounds and remind households to maintain sanitary standards.
“Every purok naa gyud nay team. Ang ilang role ra gyud is once a week supposedly mo suroy na sila sa ilang respective household, mo search and destroy, mo survey og wa bay yamoy itloganan,” Saniel said.
However, Saniel noted that it was earlier projected by the Department of Health (DOH) that dengue cases would soar in 2022 based on data which indicated a surge every three years.
Cases started to drop from 2019 to 2021 and but were expected to resurge this year.
“That is why subo kaayo sa among team na during sa panahon sa pandemic, ga roam gihapon ta didto, survey, ga warning na ko nila daan na 2022 will be the possible increase based sa trend na gi-analyze sa DOH,” he added.
Based on data from the PHO, a total of 2,227 dengue cases were recorded across the province from January 1 to October 16, 2022.
This marked a 1,198-percent increase from the only 175 cases in the same period last year.
The highest number of cases was detected in Talibon at 292.
It was followed by Tagbilaran City with 245, Anda 110, Ubay 104, and Sagbayan 97. (A. Doydora)