Amid the spike in dengue cases here during the first half of the year, the city government has begun providing free tests to residents who manifest symptoms of the mosquito-borne disease.
“I urge the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) to double its efforts in the conduct of all preemptive measures to halt the surge of this disease,” Mayor Joseph Evangelista said in a statement Wednesday.
Evangelista also urged the CDRRMO to continue its fogging operations in the highly affected villages and vulnerable areas, including the city’s 75 public primary and secondary schools.
Since January, the City Health Office (CHO) has recorded 206 cases with two mortalities so far.
It also noted that dengue cases from January 1 to May 13 were 1,066 percent higher than the 18 cases logged in the same period last year.
In its latest bulletin, the CHO said dengue patients ranged from 0 years to 90 years old, although a majority of them belong to the 0-10 age bracket.
Of the city’s 40 villages, Poblacion topped with 54 cases, followed by Sudapin (26), Balindog (17), Amas (15), and Lanao (15). The remaining 35 villages have recorded at least one case each.
Jasna Sucol, the city’s dengue program coordinator, said the free tests involve the dengue NS1 antigen examination through blood samples.
“We have enough antigen available in all our city-run hospitals here, which could help our constituents, especially those financially incapable,” Sucol said.
She said the free test kits cost between PHP500 and PHP1,000 in private-run hospitals.
The test kits were from the Department of Health 12 (Soccsksargen) and are accessible through the CHO, Kidapawan City Hospital, City Epidemiology Surveillance Unit, and the Mua-an Rural Hospital, all managed by the local government.
Evangelista said aside from the free dengue tests, they are also drafting the guidelines for financial aid to dengue patients confined in hospitals.
“We will find ways to provide remedies to this dengue disease amid this pandemic to save lives,” he said. (PNA)