Although dengue fever cases in the Philippines have dropped this year compared to 2014, the mosquito borne virus remains a big public health problem on the archipelago. As of July 19, 2014, the cumulative number of reported cases stands at 35,264, including 134 deaths.
At least two major cities in the Philippines are making serious, even legal moves to help stamp out “break-bone fever”.
In the capital of the country, Manila, the City Council just recently passed an ordinance that would make it punishable by fine for residents to not eliminate mosquito breeding sites inside or outside of their homes. The Anti-Dengue Ordinance of Manila, authored by Councilor Cristina Isip states:
“Households, schools and other establishments are prohibited to have any of the following breed sites or habitat [for] Aedes mosquitoes in their own premises and surroundings: uncovered water containers, uncovered garbage cans, earthen or clay jars, discarded cans, bottles, plastic cups or any containers potentially collecting rainwater, old tires that accumulate water, clogged roof gutters, pits, diggings and excavations.”
Fines for repeat violators can range from up to P4,000 (roughly $92 US) or jail time.
South of Manila on the island of Mindanao, the city of Cagayan de Oro is also taking steps in the battle against dengue. In a report by the Department of Health, Cagayan de Oro tops among the cities in Northern Mindanao with the most number of dengue-stricken patients this year.
In response, the city government launched the “Dak-Pa (Lamok Dakpa Patya)” anti-dengue campaign in barangays with high incidence of the disease in an effort to get the community to participate.
According to a Sun-Star report, as part of the Operation “Dak-Pa,” affected villages will conduct barangay-wide information dissemination at 6 in the morning urging the residents to get rid of their trash, especially those which may become the breeding ground of mosquitoes, such as used tires, cans, bottles, so these could be picked up by the garbage collectors.
After that, the Barangay Dengue Task Force members will make the rounds in the neighborhoods to personally inform the households on how to stop dengue from spreading and infecting the residents, most especially the children.