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As the rainy season is upon us, an environmental health group reminded the general public to ecologically manage our discards to prevent and control dengue outbreaks while the nation grapples with the COVID-19 challenges.

“By ecologically managing our discards, we prevent the collection of water in snack packs, plastic containers, tin cans, broken appliances, used tires and other things where  dengue transmitting Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can lay their eggs,” said  Jove Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

The observance of ecological solid waste management at the household level and the larger community adds to the Department of Health’s 4-S strategy to fight dengue, the EcoWaste Coalition pointed out.

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The 4-S propagated by the DOH refers to 1) search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites, 2) secure self-protection measures, 3) seek early medical consultation, and 4) support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas.
 
“Preventing and controlling dengue outbreaks is very important as the country’s healthcare system is already facing tremendous pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We need to avoid dengue and other rainy season diseases from further stretching the system’s capacity to serve our people’s health needs,” Benosa added.

Toward a dengue-free home and community, the zero waste advocacy group urged the public to observe these 12-point eco-tips:

  • Properly manage household discards, keeping non-biodegradables dry and clean.
  • Inspect and remove standing water at home, in your garden and neighborhood.
  • Turn over, store in a dry place or dispose of containers that may collect water.
  • Cover water drums, pails and tanks with lids or mosquito-proof mesh.
  • Empty and clean water containers thoroughly once a week.
  • Change water in flower vases weekly.
  • Remove water from pot plates every other day.
  • Clean plant pots that may harbor mosquitoes.
  • Loosen soil in potted plants to prevent water from stagnating on the surface
  • Wash animal drinking bowls daily.
  • Cut or puncture tires used as roof support to avoid collecting water.  
  • Clean clogged roof gutters of leaves and other debris.

The group also advised the public to shun unregistered household insecticides, including mosquito repellent products, which may pose health and environmental risks. 

The weather agency PAGASA last June 4 declared the start of the rainy season citing the incidence of extensive rainfall and the passage of tropical storm Dante.


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