Press Release
November 4, 2010

Legarda Urges DOH, LGUs To Beef Up Efforts to Prevent
and Control Dengue

As the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of the continuous surge in cases of dengue fever in Asia, Senator Loren Legarda today urged the government, particularly the Department of Health (DOH) and local government units (LGUs) to strengthen and double their efforts in the prevention and control of the disease.

"Based on the statistics from the World Health Organization, the rise in dengue cases in the country is a cause for alarm. We are aware that efforts to combat the disease are already in place, but we have to do more because the infection is spreading faster and wider and it affects more people, especially the children," Legarda said.

The Senator cited a WHO report that 70% of the estimated 2.5 billion people who are at risk of dengue reside in Asia Pacific countries, including the Philippines, which is one of the 'badly affected' nations.

From January to October 9, 2010, there were 110,235 reported cases of dengue in the Philippines. In 2009, there were only 57,819 reported cases.

Higher temperatures and rainfall in many parts of the region are the major factors in the surge of dengue cases. Although global warming is not yet considered as a factor in the increase in cases, "climatic changes play an important role in the nature of mosquitoes," according to the WHO.

"Since there is currently no treatment and vaccine for dengue, early detection and medication is important. However, we must put greater effort on the prevention and control of the disease," Legarda said.

"I urge the DOH to strengthen the government's program on dengue prevention and conduct a massive information campaign to make everyone aware of what they must do to avoid acquiring the disease. The LGUs, on the other hand, must alert their respective communities and encourage them to help eliminate the breeding places of mosquitoes by cleaning their surroundings and through proper water storage," Legarda concluded.

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