Press Release
September 25, 2013


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today urged officials of the Local Government Units (LGUs) and the Department of Health (DOH) to step up their "search-and-destroy" operations against the mosquito-borne dengue disease, especially during this rainy season.

Citing his own experience, Pimentel noticed an increase in the number of persons known to him who were hit by the dreaded disease which has already claimed thousands of victims, mostly children who are prone to mosquito bites.

"No child should suffer and die so young and no parent should experience the anguish and horror of seeing his or her baby die helplessly," said Pimentel, adding that the country has one of the highest incidents of dengue in the Asia-Pacific region.

He said that it is very interesting how other Asian countries were able to manage dengue outbreak on their shores and minimize their number of fatalities while the death toll at home has become alarmingly high almost every year.

Pimentel asked local officials to intensify their clean up drive and their house-to-house visits to see to it that the breeding grounds of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes are eliminated, like stagnant waters, used tires and empty cans.

He enjoined the DOH to sound the emergency sirens when there is a looming dengue outbreak and not to falsely reassure the public that dengue cases are down when in reality the numbers rapidly increase by the hour.

Pimentel said that the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the only way to prevent dengue virus transmission is to combat the disease-carrying mosquitoes, and to avert a crisis situation is for the DOH and the LGUs to adopt urgent measures and stronger political commitment.

He also underscored the vital role of the public in waging an allout war against dengue, by cleaning possible nests and breeding sites of the dengue-transmitting Aedes mosquitoes and carrying out a continuing information drive. "Dengue needs urgent action and we need it now. In the absence of the usual cures and vaccines, we have to rely on the basics of early prevention and community action," added Pimentel.

Also, since it is budget season the DOH should tell Congress what it needs, if it needs additional resources, to effectively combat and control dengue.

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