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Dengue prevention and control program: Community sector's involvement.


Lourdes B. Villarez,
Lourdes Aparicio

Related Institution

College of Health Sciences - Holy Name University

Publication Information

Publication Type
Thesis Degree
Publication Date
March 2013



Globally, dengue viruses are currently considered to be the most important arthropod -borne viruses transmitted to humans, whether measured in terms of the number of human infections and the number of deaths. A dengue viruses is a disease in humans. The occurrence of dengue fever is fatal especially among children, it leads to their hospitalization and even death among the countries in Asia prompting the World Health Organization to warn that region could face the worst outbreak of mosquito borne viruses. (Vasquez, 2012)

Since dengue is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease in the world and approximately 2.5 billion people live in dengue endemic countries. The wide clinical spectrum ranges from asymptomatic infections or mild illness, to the more severe forms of infection such as dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome. The spread and dramatic increase in the occurrence of dengue cases in tropical and subtropical countries has been blamed on uncontrolled urbanization, population growth and international traveling. Vaccines are under development and the only current disease control strategy is trying to keep the vector quantity at the lowest possible levels. 

Mathematical models have been developed to help understand the disease's epidemiology. These models aim not only to predict epidemics but also to expand the capacity of phenomenal explanation. The model involves the dynamic interactions between humans and mosquitoes and takes into account human mobility as an important factor of the disease spreading. (Medeiros, 2011)

Settlements of more than 100 countries with seasonal outbreaks of illness carried by mosquitoes that thrives in the detritus of human consumption such as cast off bottles, tin cans, discarded old vehicle tires and some usually found indoors like customary containers that contain waters generally considered clean, clear, and unpolluted like flower vases, earthen jars, metal drums and water barrels. Dengue has no specific treatment of infection but the effective alternative is the prevention that supplementing reduction or elimination of breeding and resting places. (Gonzales, 2012)

Still, with no vaccines to prevent dengue and no drugs to treat the disease. Novartis of Basel, Switzerland is researching antiviral medicines and has shelved one that caused side effects in dogs. Also, French drugmaker Sanofi has dengue vaccine candidate for final testing that may be available as early as 2015. Until a vaccine or medicine is approved, mosquito control is the only way to limit infections.

The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades and people are now at risk from the disease. Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, Malaysia and Philippines are one of the countries the most worrisome spots of the disease. The World Health Organization reported that there are more cases in the year 2012 than year 2011 for the same period. The disease is nearly as lethal as malaria which kills more than one million people yearly. It is then, that the World Health Organization estimates up to fifty to one hundred million dengue infections worldwide every year.

The onset of rainy season in the Philippines is from June to November or two months after the peak of rainfall. However, plateau is noted when wet season extends up to December or even in the first quarter of the following year that brings threat to the health of all Filipinos. During rainy months, water collects in containers which serve as perfect breading ground for this vector of dengue. Each year the Department of Health sets up preventive guidelines in order to stop the spread of the disease. The Department of Health reported that this horrifying virus attack and kills thousands of people even not in the months of rainy season. 

 The increase is seen despite the continuing information and education campaign of the Department of Health. They used television, radio, newspapers and the internet in disseminating advisories on prevention and control of dengue. It also encouraged the observance of the four strategies against dengue which are: search and destroy/s, self-protection measures, seeks early consultation, and say no to indiscriminate fogging. Health agency's surveillance report showed that there were 40,648 dengue cases from January to July 2010; it has an increase of 48 percent as compared in the year 2009 and number of deaths increased at the same period.

In the year 2011, a total of 110,257 cases of dengue were reported, resulting in the deaths of 580 people. Twenty-five percent of the total dengue cases were in Metro Manila. As of March 2012, there are already a number of dengue hot spots in the Philippines including Central Visayas (Region VIII); Socsargen (Region XII); Calabarzon (Region IV-A) and the National Capital Region (NCR). The most vulnerable residents in these areas are the children who have underdeveloped immune systems (Vasquez, 2012). Presently, the Department of Health in their Public Health Surveillance and Informatics Division announced and reported nationwide from January 1 to August 11, 2012 the total number of dengue cases was 74, 784 with 448 deaths and was higher compared to the same period last year which was accounted to 63,655 with 397 deaths.

In Central Visayas, the Department of Health-Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (DOH-RESU) 7 based in Cebu City reported a total of 4, 574 cases with deaths in the region January 1 to July 14 this year. Cebu City has the most number of dengue cases with the total of 2,743 cases with 11 deaths followed by Dumaguete City with 291 cases with one death. If an outbreak will be declared, they would intensify search and destroy operations against possible dengue breeding sites and continue their education and information campaign on how to fight dengue like seeking early treatment.

Currently it has been declared that dengue cases still on the rise in the province of Bohol. The number of patients afflicted with the mosquito-borne dengue virus continues to swamp hospitals in the province as the Provincial Health Office records showed 664 cases with 11 deaths since January 2012. Tagbilaran City was accounted to have 203 dengue cases followed by Panglao with 37 cases, Talibon with 34 cases, Dauis with 28 and Carmen with 25 cases. As to dengue death cases, Tagbilaran City has 6 deaths, Calape with 2, while Antequera, Dauis, and Loon with single death. This year, it is surprising that many dengue victims who are admitted in hospitals are mostly involving children which had hit alarming levels in Bohol (IPHO Record, 2012).

Amongst the patients was the researcher's relative afflicted with the dreadful illness that almost turned to complication. When the researcher interviewed the parents, she found out and realized that it is important for anyone to understand the manifestations of dengue fever so that proper intervention can be given. Therefore, the researcher prompted to conduct this study because she finds it's significant to determine the extent of the management practices public health nurses, public health midwives and the local government unit officials, and the local resident's involvement in the prevention and control program of dengue. Findings will serve as the basis for a proposed enhanced intervention program. 



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