Community involvement key in preventing dengue – DOH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The World Health Organization has identified Dengue as among the 10 threats to global health this year, saying that an estimated 40 percent of the world is at risk of the mosquito-borne disease.

Dengue, the WHO added, has been a growing threat for decades--with around 390 million infections recorded annually.

In the Philippines, the disease also poses a huge risk among Filipinos, especially during the dry season.

The Department of Health considers 2019 to be a "big dengue year," as the agency braces for an influx of dengue cases after recording more than 180 deaths from the disease in the first quarter of 2019 alone.

As of April, almost 60,000 cases of dengue had been recorded, according to the DOH. This is way higher than the 32,000 cases in the same period in 2018.

"We're preparing because we're expecting 2019 to be a big dengue year. The way dengue behaves is that you get one or two years na (of) low cases and on the third year tumataas (it rises)," Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo previously told CNN Philippines.

While the DOH has been promoting measures to minimize the risk brought by dengue among Filipinos, Franklin Diza — head of DOH's Infectious Disease, Prevention, and Control Division —believes the success in preventing the disease's possible outbreak lies in the hands of local communities.

"Dapat ma-involve ang lahat ng tao para tumulong sa pagtuklas kung saan nanggagaling 'yung mga lamok na 'yan, saan nagbi-breed yang mga lamok na 'yan. 'Yun ang isang dapat gawin sa community," Diza told CNN Philippines' MedTalk.

[Translation: Everyone should be involved to help identify where these mosquitos can be found and where they breed.]

He also pointed out the need for government's cooperation.

"Importante ang vector control at control ng pagkalat ng dengue disease kaya dapat ma-involve lahat ng tao, hindi lang 'yung komunidad kundi lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno dapat invove din yan," he said.

[Translation: Vector control is important in addressing the outbreak of dengue disease. That's why everyone, including government agencies, should be involved.]