Local government units in Negros Occidental have been advised to use their calamity fund to combat cases of dengue fever after the Department of Health (DOH) declared a national dengue outbreak on Tuesday.
Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, provincial health officer, said supplies and logistics needed could be charged to the calamity fund. “Definitely, they can use that since there is a national directive. I think that is the purpose,” he added.
A team from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) led by Tumimbang presented the latest dengue surveillance report of Negros Occidental during the session of the provincial board presided by Vice-Governor Jeffrey Ferrer.
Shortly thereafter, the PHO chief took note of the DOH declaration, wherein Health Secretary Francisco Duque said that a national epidemic should be declared to identify if a localized response is needed and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the situation.
From January 1 to July 27, Negros Occidental has recorded 3,831 cases, which is higher by 51 percent or 627 cases more than the 4,204 recorded for the same period in 2018.
Kabankalan City, which has already declared a dengue outbreak, has the highest number of cases with 687.
Candoni town has the highest percentage of increase of 1,489 percent. Last year, it recorded only nine cases, which rose to 143 in 2019.
There are 29 deaths in Negros Occidental this year, including four in Cadiz City, which is the highest in the province. This year, deaths decreased by nine percent compared to the 32 in 2018.
Tumimbang said that Governor Eugenio Lacson and Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz will be briefed on the latest development on the dengue cases.
Lacson had earlier declared a dengue heightened alert in the province, where at least five localities have been recommended by the PHO for the declaration of dengue outbreak.
Of the five, Kabankalan City and Murcia town have already followed the recommendation. The three others are Bago City, Candoni and Cauayan.
Based on the DOH Dengue Surveillance Report, Region 6 (Western Visayas) has the most number of cases at 23,330 followed by Region 4-A (Calabarzon) with 16,515; Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) with 12,317; Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) with 11,455 and Region 12 (Soccsksargen) with 11,083.
Seven out of the 17 regions have exceeded the epidemic threshold of dengue for the past three consecutive weeks, including Western Visayas. (Nanette Guadalquiver NDB)