Save the Children Philippines calls for urgent clean up actions in schools and households as deaths due to dengue reached more than 1,021 with 400 of them are children aged 5-9.
The epidemiology bureau of the Department of Health confirmed that cases of dengue have reached 249,332 between January 1 to August 24, 2019, mostly affecting children 5 to 14 years old. The breakdown of the most affected children are as follows:
· 0-4 years old: 38,768
· 5-9 years old: 56,550
· 10-14 years old: 49,040
· 15-19 years old: 37,850
Atty. Albert Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines said children are the most vulnerable to dengue fever because they are exposed to mosquitoes carrying the virus when they are playing outside or at school.
“We are appealing to parents, carers, and teachers to be on the lookout for possible breeding grounds of dengue mosquitoes at home and in schools and immediately clean them up and conduct fogging,” said Muyot.
Save the Children Philippines is launching an urgent information campaign in the next three months through nationwide radio and social media asking families to be vigilant and step up efforts to protect children from the potentially deadly virus.
“We are particularly targeting deprived and marginalized communities where health centers are difficult to access,” said Muyot.
Save the Children Philippines is strengthening coordination with schools and local communities across the program offices in Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas as well as communities in the Region IV-A and Region X.
Dr. Amado Parawan, health and nutrition advisor of Save the Children Philippines said parents should bring their children to nearest health care centers or hospitals even on early signs of dengue such as fever and rashes.
“Fever in dengue cases can be tricky as there is a tendency that temperature of the body will lower before it will peak. In this case, the dengue could be fatal,” he said.
He also advised parents to avoid bringing children to crowded places such as malls, churches and hospitals where mosquitoes with dengue virus are found.