Press Release/25 July 2019

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III today directed intensified dengue response in Western Visayas, as he  engaged in a dialogue with local officials in Iloilo, and inspected hospitals and other health facilities to assess the situation and extend needed assistance from the Department of Health.

As of the 28th Morbidity Week (January 1-July 13, 2019), a total of 18,834 dengue cases have been recorded by DOH Center for Health Development in Western Visayas (DOH CHD WV), indicating a 259 % increase as compared to the same period last year (5,251 cases in 2018). The province of Aklan has the highest attack rate of 406 (2,460 cases vs 678 in 2018) while Guimaras has the highest percent increase at 1258 % (384 cases vs 52 in 2018). 

There are also 94 deaths in the Region, with the province of Negros Occidental recording the highest number at 24 deaths. This corresponds to a regional case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.5 % which is lower than the 0.8 % CFR in the same period last year. The age range of dengue patients is from 27 days to 98 years old, with the median age at 12 years old. The most number of cases have been registered from the 1 to 10-year-old age group.

To date, five (5) provinces (Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras and Iloilo) and one (1) HUC or Highly Urbanized City (Iloilo City) have already declared dengue outbreaks. Iloilo and Antique Provinces have also declared a state of calamity due to the ongoing increase of dengue cases. The municipalities of Culasi and Sebaste in Antique and Maasin, Iloilo have also declared a state of calamity in their respective localities.

“We commend the leadership in Western Visayas for acting swiftly to address this outbreak,” Secretary Duque declared, adding that, “We also reiterate our call to the public to go to the nearest health facility when experiencing the signs and symptoms of dengue and not wait for it to get worse.”
DOH-CHD WV has been actively addressing the dengue outbreak in the region. Regional advisories were issued to guide LGUs on case management and outbreak response. These included guidelines in the triaging and managing of dengue cases, the establishment of hydration units in RHUs/other medical out-patient clinics and hospitals, and the declaration of dengue epidemic/outbreak at the LGU level.

As part of DOH logistic support to LGUs, a total of P39,191,146.00 pesos worth of dengue commodities were provided to the six (6) provinces and two (2) HUCs in the region. These commodities include NS1 RDT Kits, Adulticides, Larvicides, Insecticide-Treated Mosquito Nets and Screens, Oral Rehydration Solutions, Spray Cans and Misting Machines. On the other hand, as support the human resource needs of LGU hospitals due to the influx of dengue patients, two hundred twenty-nine (229) Human Resources for Health have been temporarily assigned to LGU provincial and district hospitals since July 15. These include sixteen (16) doctors, one hundred eighty-nine (189) nurses, and twenty-four (24) medical technologists.

Four (4) ward tents, four (4) TEICO AC Units, 60 cot beds and 120 linens were received by Iloilo Province last July 21, 2019 from the Philippine Red Cross. Two (2) of these ward tents were set-up at the Jesus Colmenares District Hospital in Balasan, Iloilo. Resource mobilization utilizing the 2019 MAIP funds worth P 198.34 M will also be implemented to assist dengue patients referred for admission from LGU hospitals to private health facilities through a Memorandum of Agreement between the province and the private hospitals.

“There is an outpouring of support from our health partners, especially the Philippine Red Cross, other government agencies, and the members of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council. We are extremely grateful for their urgent response. The Department of Health will continue to work with Western Visayas LGUs, and with our concerted efforts we hope to be able to quell this dengue outbreak,” the Health Chief concluded.