Vector Borne Diseases “One Small Bite, Big Threat”
BUTUAN CITY, April 20 (PIA) - The World Health Day commemorates the founding anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 7, 1948. This year’s celebration highlights Vector-borne Diseases. With its campaign theme, “One Small Bite, Big Threat,” the health sector calls for better awareness and stronger community action towards the control and eradication of vectors in the community.
In the Philippines, two of the most pressing vector borne health concerns are Dengue and Malaria. Dengue, a viral infection that is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, has infected 822 individuals and has claimed six lives in Caraga from January 1 to April 5, 2014 and in the year 2013 alone; it has caused 3,333 cases with 28 deaths as reported by different reporting units throughout the region.
Another vector borne disease that is caused by mosquitoes is Filariasis. Although its effects are not as immediate as Dengue and Malaria, Filariasis’ long term debilitating effects to an individual should be taken seriously. Caraga first claimed its two Filariasis Free Provinces in 2010 which were Surigao del Sur and the Province of Dinagat Islands; and in 2013 Surigao del Sur joined them.
The present campaign against one of the most prevalent vector borne disease, Dengue, as implored by the Department of Health (DOH) is the revitalization of the 4 O’clock Habit. The campaign aims to control and eliminate the breeding grounds of these mosquitoes by emboldening communities to STOP all activities at 4 o’clock to LOOK and destroy mosquito breeding places and to LISTEN to their barangay officials for appropriate instructions and health education. This highlights the role of every barangay officials to take the lead in this campaign.
“Proper environmental sanitation and the eradication of mosquito breeding places in the surroundings is the key to better vector control. Though these insects have been part of our ecosystem since time in memorial, all we need to do is control them and prevent the transmission of vector-borne infections to humans. We call everyone to actively participate in our fight against one of the most common vectors, mosquitoes,” said DOH Caraga regional director Minerva P. Molon. (DOH-13/PIA-Caraga)