ANTI-DENGUE DRIVE. Dr. Ernell Tumimbang (2nd from left), provincial health officer of Negros Occidental, speaks during a press briefing after the launching of the Department of Health-Western Visayas’ “SaBAYANg 4,5,6” anti-dengue campaign in La Carlota City on Friday (July 15, 2022). Negros Occidental has logged 1,869 dengue cases, the highest in Region 6, from January 1 to July 2 this year. (Photo courtesy of DOH-Western Visayas)

BACOLOD CITY – A team from the Department of Health in Western Visayas (DOH-6) has been deployed to Negros Occidental to assist in curbing the increasing dengue incidence in the province, which now has the highest number of cases in the region.

On Friday, the region’s “SaBAYANg 4,5,6” campaign was launched in La Carlota City to push for the adoption of the 4S strategy led by five teams in the local government units and barangays across Region 6 (Western Visayas).

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson acknowledged the uptick in cases of the mosquito-borne disease in Negros Occidental can already be considered alarming.

“The region (is) sending a team here to focus on the dengue situation. I understand we’re number one now as to cases of dengue. We can say that (it’s alarming) that’s why they’re here to help,” he said.

The latest data released by the DOH-6 showed Negros Occidental has a total of 1,869 cases, including 10 deaths, from January 1 to July 2 this year, which is 777 percent higher compared to the more than 200 cases recorded during the same period in 2021.

From June 26 to July 2 alone, some 185 new cases, with three deaths, were reported in the province.

During the campaign launch, the Provincial Health Office led by Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, provincial health officer, and Dr. Jessica Fama, assistant provincial health officer, affirmed the commitment of Negros Occidental to dengue preparedness and response.

The “SaBAYANg 4,5,6” campaign, which is unique to Western Visayas, seeks to introduce and implement additional measures to existing solutions and steps to address dengue at the barangay level.

The “4S” strategy includes “search and destroy,” “self-protection measures,” “seeking early consultation,” and “support spraying activities”.

The five teams identified to lead the campaign comprise those in health education, fever surveillance, logistics, data management, and vector control and surveillance. (PNA)