Bontoc, Mountain Province – An ordinance setting prevention and control measures to mitigate dengue fever cases and requiring all residents to strengthen the fight against the disease has been ratified.
Bontoc Mayor Franklin C. Odsey signed Ordinance No. 304, s. 2018 known as the “Anti- Dengue Vector Ordinance” authored by Sangguniang Bayan member Julian F. Chumacog who chairs the Committee on Health, and supported by the august body.
This is in view of the World Health Organization (WHO) report that dengue is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease in the world. Accordingly, dengue fever has already become a year-round illness because of the ability of dengue-carrying mosquitoes to thrive in either dirty or clear and stagnant water stored in various containers.
Based on the data from the Department of Health (DOH), a total of 131,827 dengue cases were reported in the Philippines from January 1 to December 2, 2017.This was 36.9 percent lower than the 208,805 cases recorded during the same period in 2016. There were 732 deaths due to dengue nationwide from January to December last year. All regions, cities and municipalities are endemic to dengue and Bontoc is not spared to experience such as outbreak or epidemic.
In Bontoc, the Municipal Health Office (MHO) recorded a total of 90 dengue cases in 2015. It decreased to 60 dengue cases in 2016, and dropped to 17 cases in 2017.
Relative to this, the Sangguniang Bayan recognized that the only method of controlling or preventing dengue virus transmission is to combat the vector mosquitoes; and vector control could be effectively and efficiently implemented using environmental management and chemical methods as well as proper solid waste disposal and improved water storage practices, including covering containers to prevent access by egg-laying female mosquito.
The ordinance mandates all owners, managers, administrators and/ or caretaker of households, schools, vacant lots, abandoned houses, tire trading/merchandise business, and all other building/establishments in Bontoc to get rid of vector breeding ground, particularly stagnant water, to avoid mosquito larvae (kiti-kiti).
It was further stipulated in the ordinance that building structures under construction must not accumulate stagnant water and solid waste; water drums, pails, similar containers must be covered at all times; old or discarded tires should be punctured or cut; unused tin cans, jars, bottles, pots, and the like should be properly collected, stored, and disposed; gutters of roofs must be maintained free from accumulation of rain water; abandoned swimming pools must be treated with larvicides or other means of controlling the vector; uninhabited structures/ buildings must be free from all kinds of waste; and all plant vases and pots, open bamboo poles, free holes, leaf plant axils, other natural or artificial containers that may accumulate water, should always be checked as the potential breeding place of Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes.
Under prevention and control, all other interventions especially the use of chemicals and other than for research purposes shall secure clearances from the MHO prior to its conduct; the MHO shall approve the abatement of program for the elimination of the vector; pest control operators shall have to register or be accredited by the MHO prior to the render of service within the jurisdiction of Bontoc; and all new technologies, approaches and processes that may be developed in the future which will help in the prevention and control of dengue shall be adopted for implementation.
To further strengthen the fight against dengue, the MHO with the cooperation of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), Liga ng mga Barangay and the barangay concerned shall conduct a massive public awareness campaign. This includes health education including the organization/coordination and lectures; Ovi- Larvitrapping; manner of destroying breeding sites; participation in the “Oplan Linis Activities”; and information dissemination of the Anti-Dengue Vector Ordinance.
An Anti- Dengue Task Force shall be created to ensure firm and sustainable implementation and enforcement of the ordinance. The task force shall oversee and enforce strict implementation of the clean-up drive; coordinate with agencies or offices concerned relative to the information and awareness campaign against dengue; and create Dengue Monitoring and Prevention Team which will be primarily responsible for the monitoring of the incidence of dengue in the 16 barangays of Bontoc. Also, the team shall submit its monthly monitoring report of data collected on dengue cases in the barangays to the Anti- Dengue Task Force and MHO.
With this ordinance, Mayor Odsey together with Vice Mayor Eusebio S. Kabluyen and the members of the Sangguniang Bayan solicited the cooperation of the constituents. Municipal officials mentioned that the compliance of the public is for the general welfare and safety of everyone. // Alpine L. Killa, Bontoc –LGU