It was September 2011 when I had a really close call with dengue fever. My daughter who was in the 12 when she was diagnosed with it. At that time there was an epidemic of dengue in the Marikina where Raffy was studying, there is hardly enough beds for patients in the hospitals. I was in the state of panic and worry. With my husband working abroad, I had to handle everything on my own. It was a time I did not want to experience again, nor I want any parent to do so.
GlaxoSmithKline Philippines, in cooperation with the Department of Health has come out with a campaign gear on an aggressive information, education and awareness.
Dengue is the fastest-growing vector-borne infection in the world and Southeast Asia in the heart of dengue mosquito breeding due to the tropical climate. In the Philippines, dengue outbreak has spread to more areas and impacted more lives. Recently I heard on the news that there were more then 1,000 thousand cases of dengue in Baguio City, they can no longer accommodate patients in the hospitals! This is just too scary for words.
I was very glad to be invited to the launching of the Allied Against Dengue Movement held recently at Makati City. There were a lot of interesting presentations.
Heather Pelier said that dengue is rife in the Philippines and unless we join forces, the disease will become the fastest spreading health threat in the Philippines, GSK was motivated to initiate Allied Against Dengue because they were concerned of the escalating hazard and effects of dengue on the nation including their employees and their families who have experienced the dreaded disease. The ultimate goal of Allied Against Dengue is to reduce the impact of dengue on the Filipino people.
Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, updated us on the Department of Health`s commitment on fighting dengue. This includes assisting the Local Government Units when in need and constant information and education dissemination of the public.
More than 1,200 pediatricians and pharmacist will be involved in the public education and awareness of dengue fever management across the country. This is aligned to and complements the World Health Organization (WHO) global strategy for prevention and control and DOH`s initiatives.
The DOH mentioned that the Philippines is one of the few countries that have made the dengue vaccine available to the public and have rolled out the vaccine in Metro Manila hopefully in all the other regions in the Philippines within the year.
As part of Allied Against Dengue strategy:
- Distribution of 50,000 DOH primers to at least 5 public schools in dengue hotspots in Metro Manila
- Distribution 15,000 leaflets to 1,000 pediatricians and general practitioners
- Education of proper dengue fever prevention and management to 20 health centers for Barangay outreach programs
- Implementation of Continuous Pharmacy Education (CPE) Program in identified chapters targeting 200 pharmacist
- Education and recruitment of at least 1000 Allied Against Dengue through employee engagement, online and on ground activation
Dr. Gatchalian gave a briefing about knowing the dengue virus, it was very informative. She spoke about the dengue phobia, and how it has affected everyone`s life that each time our love ones gets fever, we attribute it to dengue.
- Dengue can on be passed on via a bite of the FEMALE Aedes mosquito. No human to human contact.
- Dengue has 2-8 days incubation period inside the Aedes mosquito, after the incubation period anyone bitten by the mosquito will be infected.
- There are 4 strains of the dengue virus, although you have recovered from one strain it doesn`t mean that your are immune to the other 3. You can get sick with dengue fever 4 times.
- Dengue does not discriminate. No matter what status or gender or age, everyone can get sick with dengue fever.
- Severe dengue fever is life-threatening
- No medicine for dengue, the patient needs constant monitoring and hydration to let the dengue virus out of their system,
- The safest and WHO approved medicine for those affected by dengue is paracetamol, some medicines like ibuprofen may aggravate gastritis or bleeding in dengue fever
- Dengue vaccine is available, and it will give you immunity from all 4 strains of the dengue virus
Mommy Blogger Rowena Lei Lim and TV Personality Jolina Magdangal-Escueta gave advice on how to fight against the dengue virus. Since prevention is better than cure any day.
- Keeping the surroundings clean
- Consult a Physician whenever a patient has had a fever for 2 days
- Keep the patient hydrated and give PARACETAMOL for the fever
- Self protect, use long-sleeves shirts and pants and apply insect repellent
Having experienced the diseases first hand I know how it is and how draining mentally and physically not just for the patient but also for their families. Let us all pledge and join the movement against the dengue virus.
I am Joey Tibayan-Bayan, I am a proud ALLY AGAINST DENGUE.
Until next time!