A dengue epidemic has been declared in the Philippines after recording more than 600 deaths and over 146,000 cases in 2019 alone – a 98% increase from the previous year.
According to the World Health Organization, dengue is one of the fastest-spreading mosquito-borne diseases in the world and has increased 30-fold in the past 50 years.
The start of the rainy season in the Philippines is a huge contributing factor as mosquitoes lay eggs in spaces or containers that can hold stagnant water – bottle caps, dish dryers, gutters, trash cans, old rubber tires.
“We are alarmed by the increasing number of dengue cases in the Philippines. We are concerned about the exposure to dengue-infected mosquitoes of the internally displaced people in our project areas especially those who live in tents and temporary shelters” said David Gazashvili, CARE Philippines Country Director.
The Bangsamoro region, where CARE has ongoing programs, already exceeded the alert threshold level with 2,301 cases. The towns of Wa-o and Marantao in Lanao del Sur have the most number of dengue cases in the province which are adjacent to Marawi City where most displaced people stay.
CARE will be providing “dengue prevention kits” composed of insect repellent lotion and mosquito nets to be distributed in evacuation camps. CARE and its partners will also conduct awareness raising activities during distributions and will support the Department of Health’s “Deng-get-out!”, a vector control program which aims to search and destroy mosquito breeding sites.
The City Health Office of Marawi and the province of Lanao del Sur are also coordinating with CARE and other international organizations for the provision of fogging machines that would help kill breeding dengue-infected mosquitoes.
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. CARE has worked in the Philippines since 1949 and is known for its programs on emergency preparedness and response, health, livelihood recovery, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, innovations and gender-based violence, including humanitarian support to the displaced people in Mindanao, who still live in evacuation camps and temporary shelters two years after the Marawi City siege.
Dennis Amata, CARE Philippines; Phone: +63.917.510.8150; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.care-philippines.org