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Cebu News

Cebu City logs most diarrhea, measles cases

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Aside from having most number of dengue cases in Central Visayas in the first five months of 2022, Cebu City also recorded the most cases of acute diarrhea and measles-rubella in the same period among the local government units in the region.

Based on the data released by the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) of Department of Health (DOH)-7, Cebu City logged a total of 164 cases of acute diarrhea—30 of them succumbed to the disease. For the entire region, a total of 811 cases were reported with 31 deaths.

The city also has most measles-rubella cases in the region—9 cases with no fatality. An increase in typhoid fever cases was also noted this year with 18 cases from eight last year. No fatality was also reported.

For the entire region, a total of 216 typhoid fever cases were reported, including six deaths.

Earlier, Cebu City Health Department reported an increase in dengue cases from January to May 7 this year compared to the same period last year. Records from the city health department showed 422 dengue cases with 13 fatalities during the first five months of this year, higher than the 36 cases during the same period in 2021.

The DOH data, however, is higher than the figures reported by the local health unit. According to the DOH, Cebu City logged 708 dengue cases during the said period with 11 deaths.

Regardless of the number, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has ordered the concerned department at the City Hall to look into the matter. The mayor is also looking at tapping non-government organizations involved in the campaign against dengue and other diseases.

Meanwhile, an environmental watchdog urges the local government units, especially Cebu City, to enhance the implementation of the Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act to control the deadly diseases like dengue.

This came following the reported rise in dengue cases in the city and some other areas of Central and Western Visayas.

The EcoWaste Coalition has urged the LGUs and the general public to enhance the implementation of Republic Act 9003.

Enacted in 2000, R.A. 9003 promotes waste avoidance and volume reduction, segregation at source, reusing, recycling, composting and other best practices in ESWM excluding incineration, the Ecowaste Coalition emphasized.

“The application of ecological solid waste management as espoused in RA 9003 in every household and community will deprive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the primary vector of the dengue virus, with places to lay their eggs,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

Lucero also urged the winners in the recent general elections to lead their respective local government units in the conduct of clean-up operations and promote ecological management.

"As a concrete way of thanking their constituents, we also urge winners of the May 9 national and local elections to consider leading neighborhood cleanup operations to promote the ecological management of discards, including campaign-related waste such as candidates’ tarpaulin posters," added Lucero.

Discarded election campaign materials, face masks, bottle caps, glass and plastic bottles, plastic bags and sachets, tin cans, tires and other wastes can hold rainwater which can serve as a breeding site for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

Aside from controlling dengue and other health benefits, enforcing R.A. 9003 will cut the volume and toxicity of garbage, reduce hauling costs, curb environmental contamination, address climate pollution, prevent flooding and marine litter, conserve resources, and generate recycling-based jobs and livelihoods for local communities, the group added.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “applying many of the basic principles (of solid waste management) can contribute substantially to reducing Aedes aegypti larval habitats,” stressing that “proper storage, collection, and disposal of waste are essential for protecting public health.”

To prevent and control dengue outbreaks this rainy season, the EcoWaste Coalition requested the public to heed this 12-point eco-tips.

Proper management of household discards, keeping non-biodegradable dry and clean, and inspecting and removing standing water at home, garden and neighborhood are highly encouraged.

Containers that may collect water should also be turned over and stored in a dry place or disposed of while water drums have to be covered and pails and tanks should have lids or mosquito-proof mesh and water containers should be emptied and cleaned thoroughly once a week.

Water in flower vases should also be changed weekly while water from pot plates should be removed every other day and plant pots have to be cleaned so they will not harbor mosquitoes and potted plants should also have loosened soil to prevent water from stagnating on the surface. Animal drinking containers are also expected to be cleaned daily.

Tires used as roof support should also be cut or punctured to avoid collecting water as gutters have to be cleaned to avoid clogging due to leaves and other debris.

The EcoWaste Coalition also discouraged the public from purchasing and using household insecticides that have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their quality and safety.

Unregistered aerosol insecticides, mosquito coils, and anti-mosquito lotions, sprays, patches, and bracelets may pose health and environmental risks, the group said. — Decemay Padilla, FPL (FREEMAN)

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