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How a Bohol village saved its residents from dengue

By Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA-Bohol | 06:03 PM June 29, 2020

OPLAN LAYAS KITIKITI, GOODBYE DENGUE. Purok residents of Salvador Cortes came out in droves to join in the massive 3 days barangay clean up and search and destroy operations which has led to a zero dengue case in the succeeding years. (Salvador contributed photo)

From 58 dengue cases in 2017, residents of Barangay Salvador in Cortes town decided they had enough and prodded by a strong political will exercised by their leaders, the barangay reports zero dengue cases in 2019.

Considered by many as a scourge to communities especially in rural areas where breeding places are just about everywhere, dengue, a mosquito-borne illness that manifests in high fevers leading to hemorrhaging and death, was also a top concern for barangay officials led by Chairman Jessa Renegado-Bibat.

OPLAN LAYAS KITIKITI, GOODBYE DENGUE. Purok residents of Salvador Cortes came out in droves to join in the massive 3 days barangay clean up and search and destroy operations which has led to a zero dengue case in the succeeding years. (Salvador contributed photo)

“Daghan ta og kaso sa dengue adtong 2017-2018, medyo naulaw gani ta nga gianhi na ta sa mga tinugyanan sa lungsod ug Probinsya, aron matabangan ta nila sa pagsumpo niini,” Bibat shared.

(Translation: We had many dengue cases in 2017 and 2018, and it was a bit embarrassing to have been visited by municipal and provincial health officials who promised to help us to stop this. )

After their brief orientation and information campaign, we gathered the Sanggunian and generated commitments which led to the creation of the Barangay Anti-Dengue Campaign Committee and the Barangay Anti-Dengue Task Force in September of 2018.

“We figured out that our residents are not all well off and hospitalization was out of the equation, so we had to do what we can on the prevention side,” she added.

With the ordinance, we pushed for educating constituents on the importance of community sanitation and other practical means of dengue prevention, Bibat, who has also implemented in her term vital road concreting projects said.

AS LONG AS ITS DAMP AND DIRTY, HERE MOSQUITOES STAY. Residents joined in the clean-up, not really minding if the identified dengue breeding lot is privately owned, as long as it hosts the deadly virus vector, it has to be cleaned up. (Barangay Salvador Contributed foto)

Then, the council created the Aksyon barangay Kontra Dengue Task Force sa Salvador Cortes, a move patterned from the provincial ordinance.

The Task Force, co-chaired by the Barangay Kagawad Chair on Health and Sanitation Nemesia Hubac, has all kagawads and Barangay Health Workers, Day Care worker, private sector and religious representatives.

Its task was to educate and urge residents to join in the campaign, establish vector control and surveillance unit, coordinate with town dengue campaign committee, and specifically inspects and identifies high risk puroks, designate a purok point person tasked to designate purok dengue brigade.

The Dengue brigades survey, draw maps of location and types of potential breeding sites, of which the municipal health officer and dengue vector surveillance officer conducts baseline entomological survey in the high risk puroks.

The survey results form as the proof of purok mobilization, which the ordinance also provides furher action.

The Dengue brigades roam around the purok and checks on the compliance on acts like unsecured water storage, unemptied flower vases, discarded tires, sewage discharge that create ponds potential for breeding mosquitoes and other measures.

Bibat said they also encouraged households to actively participate in cleaning of surroundings and declaring massive clean up days and search and destroy operations as well as maintenance and we issued Executive order No. 14, series of 2018 which implemented the 4’o’clock Stop, Look and Listen habit as implemented by the Department of Health in its Anti Dengue Campaigns.

For these, the ordinance pegs a fine of P2,500 and imprisonment of not more than 6 months.

This, we complemented with Cleanliness Covenant Signing in the Oplan Layas Kitikiti, Goodbye Dengue, and supplemented by community mobilization on massive purok clean-ups through their Purok Dengue Brigades, Bibat continued.

Oplan Layas Kitikiti is a barangay wide, three days purok mobilization making sure we eliminate all potential breeding sites, pour anti-larva solution in big bodies of stagnant water and overturn receptacles where water may be impounded.

The Barangay also tasked the Purok Brigades to submit mobilization plans, including areas covered by the clean-up, one which the cluster of houses assigned would be bound to maintain all throughout the year.

This plan, every household leader commits to do, during the covenant signing.

As to the succeeding weeks, the Barangay task Force conducts home visitations and occasionally identifies potential areas for clean-up to discourage mosquitoes.

“Malipay pod ta nga nakita nato nga ang tanan, naghiusa gyud, naa pay nanglibre os snacks samtang ang uban nanglimpyo sa mga datag-datag, mga hugasan, wala nay balihay kon kinsang yuta ang gitrabaho, basta mapalayas ang lamok,” she shared.

(Translation: We were happy to see that everyone united, there were some families who cooked snacks while clean up teams raided ponds, kitchen dumps without counting anymore who owns the lot, as long as we could drive the mosquitoes away.)

The following year and henceforth, Barangay Salvador has recorded zero dengue cases, one it hopes to maintain all throughout.

We thought starting it was the hardest part, now we realized it is maintaining it that is tough, with people tending to be complacent after a huge success, Chairman Bibat said. (rahchiu/PIA-7/Bohol)

AS LONG AS ITS DAMP AND DIRTY, HERE MOSQUITOES STAY. Residents joined in the clean-up, not really minding if the identified dengue breeding lot is privately owned, as long as it hosts the deadly virus vector, it has to be cleaned up. (Barangay Salvador Contributed foto)

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