The provincial government of Antique has formed a special task force to lessen the numer of dengue cases in the province after a huge spike of deaths were reported this year.

A total of 2,060 dengue cases with 10 fatalities from January 1 to August 31 this year were recorded by the Antique Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO). The data showed a huge spike of 137 percent as compared to the 875 cases and only three fatalities in the same period last year.

Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao is scheduled to sign the Executive Order forming the Antique Provincial Task on Dengue and other Vector-Borne Diseases, which will be composed of heads and representatives of the different provincial government offices, national government agencies with provincial offices in Antique and the local media, as revealed by Dr. Leoncio Abiera, Jr. of the IPHO during a meeting last Wednesday.

“So long as there is a mosquito dengue vector, there will be dengue cases so we need to work together to address it,” he said.

He further stated that the reinforcement from different sectors to fight dengue is because IPHO cannot address the issue alone.

“We need to arm ourselves as we go out to address dengue,” Antique provincial board member Dr. Mayella Mae Plameras-Ladislao, the provincial board Committee on Health chairperson said.

Meanwhile, Marnie Payne of the Office of Antique Rep. Loren Legarda stated they would ask the assistance of the Department of Education – Antique Division to give the data as to how many school children have to be given knee socks, as part of the preventive measures to be undertaken in schools.

Mosquito larvae predator were also requested by Legarda from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to be released in canals.

A weekly cleanup at the Bagumbayan Creek in San Jose de Buenavista and a quarterly cleanup in other parts of Antique were also conducted in mosquito-breeding places.

The task force is planning to consolidate all its activities and hold regular meetings to discuss progress and how to further control dengue cases. (RJ Espartinez)