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Health Secretary Francisco Duque III throws punches at a mosquito mascot to launch the Sabayang 4-o clock habit para deng-get out! strategy / PIA

DOH launches 4-o'clock anti-dengue campaign

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Thr Department of Health has launched the 4-o'clock anti-dengue campaign to address the epidemic.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III called on other government agencies, local government units, schools and communities to conduct the “4-o’clock habit para deng-get out!” vector control program, which aims to search and destroy mosquito breeding sites.

This, after declaring a national dengue epidemic in a joint press conference at Camp Aguinaldo with officials of the Department of National Defense, Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, as cases of the mosquito-borne disease continued to increase.

“Starting today, the Department of Health together with other government agencies, LGUs, schools, offices, and communities will conduct the Sabayang 4-o’clock habit para deng-get out, focusing on search and destroy of mosquito breeding sites. This is one of the primary interventions to prevent and control dengue,” Duque said.

The “4-o’clock habit” is a strategy that seeks to raise awareness and encourage the community to do its share and take time to weed out dengue breeding sites at 4 p.m. every day. It has been known that mosquitos carrying the disease are most active at dusk around this time and religiously

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III throws punches at a mosquito mascot to launch the Sabayang 4-o'clock habit para deng-get out! strategy.
exercising this intervention is key to reducing the risk of dengue.

“Kaya sabay-sabay tayong mag-search and destroy tuwing 4-o’clock para deng-get-out!” he urged the public.

Data from the Department of Health revealed from January 1 to July 20, 2019, there have been a total of 146,062 dengue cases that resulted to 622 deaths. Duque said this was almost double the cases recorded in the same period in 2018.

Western Visayas recorded the most number of dengue cases at 23,330. This is followed by Region 4A CALABARZON with 16,515, Zamboanga Peninsula with 12,317, and Northern Mindanao with 11,455 cases.

“It is important that a national epidemic be declared in these area to identify where a localized response is needed, and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation,” Duque said.

Meanwhile, in response to the rise of dengue cases, Science Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña said the DOST will roll out Biotek M diagnostic kit, developed from UP Manila.

“The kit offers a simplified method of confirming the presence of dengue virus in a patient’s blood, thus it can be used to detect dengue infections at the start of the fever,” dela Peña said.

“It will be rolled out nationwide, starting with the regions with reported high number of dengue cases, in region 4A, 4B, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 12, and BARMM,” he added.

A total of 304 LGU hospitals will be identified in the selected regions to be awarded with the diagnostic kit.

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