BARMM Health Minister Dr. Zul Qarnayn Abas. (File photo courtesy of MOH-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – The health minister of the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has called on residents to help fight dengue after data showed that the region has already reached the epidemic threshold.

“We have reached or surpassed the epidemic threshold,” Minister Dr. Zul Qarnayn Abas of the Ministry of Health (MOH-BARMM) said in an interview here Thursday.

From January to June this year, Abas said the MOH recorded 966 dengue cases across the region, which is way higher as compared to 270 cases during the same period last year.

“This is 258 percent higher,” he said, adding the region has already recorded 11 dengue deaths since January this year as against zero in 2021.

“Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur has the highest number of dengue cases so far,” he said, as he urged every Bangsamoro to help in the fight against the mosquito-borne disease by cleaning the surroundings.

“Breeding sites such as stagnant waters must be destroyed to also kill the mosquitoes,” he said, adding that MOH-BARMM is pushing for the “4S strategy.”

The “4S” stands for “Search and destroy” mosquito breeding sites; “Secure self-protection measures” like wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and daily use of mosquito repellent; “Seek early consultation” and “Support fogging/spraying when there’s an outbreak.” (PNA)