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CHO to barangay officials: work together to curb dengue cases

THE LACK of support from barangay leaders is seen as a major factor in the ineffective efforts to curb dengue cases at the grassroots level.

On Thursday, the City Health Office (CHO) reiterated that every barangay must establish a Mosquito-Borne Diseases Task Force (BMDTF) to suppress the increase in dengue cases amid the onset of the rainy season.

Melodina Babante, CHO Tropical Diseases Prevention and Control Division coordinator, reported as of June only 32 out of 182 total barangays in the city have active and operational task forces.

Babante revealed that some barangays are unaware of the structure of the task force and the sustainability problems since officials serve for a limited time.

She added that task force members need not come solely from barangay functionaries but also from private stockholders.

“We have to try our best to reach out to the barangays coming from far-flung areas such as in Paquibato and Marilog districts to increase their awareness of the structure,” she said during the Ispeak Media Forum on July 4.

Babante said the CHO is committed to equipping the members after the barangay puts up the task force.

Barangay Buhangin Proper was lauded for its exemplary implementation of the task force cascading it to its purok level. Buhangin logged 79 dengue cases as of June 8 CHO data. 

The official said this must be communicated down to purok level to effectively monitor every household, and conduct surveillance for reported cases.

All barangay chairman is mandated to organize and submit a list of the members of his BMDTF within 15 days after the approval of the mayor and the publication of the IRR of City Ordinance No. 0401-20, Series of 2020 or the Davao City mosquito-borne disease prevention and Control program.

Mayor Sebastian Duterte signed the IRR of City Ordinance No. 0401-20 set forth under the EO 25 series of 2023 on September 25, 2023, despite the ordinance being approved in 2020.

On July 1, Duterte issued a memorandum to all barangay chairmen to activate their BMDTF 15 days after receipt of the memo. All barangays, despite having no dengue cases are mandated to put up a task force.

CHO logged 2,170 confirmed cases and 17 deaths from January- June this year, which is comparatively lesser than the number for the same period last year with 2876 cases, and 27 death.

Babante stressed the residents must remain vigilant and continue to observe 4S: search and destroy breeding sites; seek medical assistance as soon as possible; self-protective measures such as the use of mosquito-repellants; and support fogging and misting to avoid outbreaks.

Individuals who fail to attend or are found to have breeding sites of mosquitoes in their homes shall be penalized as stipulated in the ordinance. 

Violators shall be held liable to a fine amounting to P1,000 with a two-day community service for the first offense. For the second offense, offenders shall be fined P3,000 and a four-hour community service; while for the third offense, violators shall be fined a P5,000 and a four-hour community service.

The official said development of the citation tickets is ongoing along with the opening of the Trust Fund where the revenues collected for violations will be deposited. At present, the offenders are told to do community service. 

“Once the citation tickets are available, during our household surveillance, if we find houses to have breeding sites, they will be fined immediately,” Babante said.


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