Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo has asked the health sector, through the Provincial Health Office, to increase anti-dengue efforts, with the start of the rainy season and despite a drop in dengue cases this year.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council met Wednesday, and PHO head, Dr. Edgardo Barredo, briefed the members on the status of dengue cases in the province.

Disasters related to the health sector are now part of the PDRRMC’s concerns, and as such, the provincial government allocated P500,000 in funds for the anti-dengue campaign.

The additional funding is on top of the regular budget allocated to the local health sector to combat dengue, a viral disease that is transmitted to humans through the dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

Barredo said that fromJanuary 1to June this year, dengue cases reported were lower by 76 percent at 376, compared to 1,586 noted in the same period last year. The number of fatalities in the province due to dengue dropped, at two deaths in the first six months of 2014, compared to six in the same period in 2013, he added.

The two fatalities were from Bais and Dumaguete, he said.

Dumaguete Health officer, Dr. Maria Sarah Talla, had earlier reported a decrease in dengue cases in the city, with 58 recorded from January 1 to June 14, as opposed to 384 cases for the same period last year.

Barredo told the PDRRMC that health officials are starting barangay-based efforts to prevent dengue cases from rising and urged the community to again adopt the 4S strategy against dengue: Search and destroy breeding grounds of mosquitoes, Seek early treatment, Self-protective measures like use of mosquito repellant lotion, and Saying No to indiscriminate fogging.

IPHO records show that Dumaguete topped the list of 10 local government units with the highest number of dengue cases at 134 (with one death) as of press time.

The others are Sibulan with 48 cases; Tanjay City, 37; Guihulngan City, 22; Bacong, 19; Amlan and San Jose, 15 each; Bais City, 14 (with one death); Siaton, 13; and, Valencia with eight dengue cases.*JFP