Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dengue cases up in Marinduque now... brings to mind unpublicized chikungunya outbreak here eh?

Remember the mysterious chikungunya outbreak in Marinduque two years ago - in Boac alone the number of cases rose to more than 1,200 - whereas the DOH was reporting at the same time a total of 2,594 cases nationwide apparently excluding the numbers from Marinduque?  Mainstream media and DOH which sent representatives to the island, for whatever reason, kept mum about it!

Dengue cases are now reportedly rising here and it looks like such cases will just be swept once more under the provincial rug. Good thing that columnist and broadcaster Nino Bonito Padilla is talking and writing about it this time on mainstream (below).

Excerpts from my blog article dated Aug. 22, 2013:

The new health threat posed by the mosquito-borne African viral disease, chikongunya, to residents of many Marinduque barangays is far from over. The municipal government of Boac, alarmed by the increasing number of people downed by the virus that registered more than 1,200 victims in July declared a state of calamity (July 17), for health reasons immediately engaging in massive information, education and clean up drives to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds. Yet the problem persists and there are apparent attempts to downplay the situation. 
PIA reported  that a week after the capital town was placed under a state of calamity owing to the outbreak, the number rose from 1,048 to 1,217.  
As of July 25 the number of chikungunya cases reported province-wide from January to July according to the Provincial Health Office was: Boac – 1,237; Torrrijos – 505; Buenavista – 282; Gasan – 53; Mogpog – 121 and Sta. Cruz – 9, or a total of 2,207 cases that were reported to the Department of Health (DOH).
But DOH reports 2,594 chikungunya cases nationwide!
 

Tawa-Tawa cleaned and boiled then drank as tea - folkloric medicine for dengue
Denge cases up in Marinduque
By Nino Bonito Padilla, The Manila Times


Four members of the family of my wife in Marinduque are now battling with dengue. Icon, our 14-year-old niece, had fever Wednesday last week. Her mom, my sister-in-law, immediately brought her to Dr. Damian J. Reyes Memorial Hospital, the Marinduque provincial hospital, where she was diagnosed with dengue.
Unfortunately, the provincial hospital could no longer accommodate our niece. She and other dengue and suspected dengue patients had to stay overnight at the hallway because the 100-bed hospital was full.
The following morning, our niece’s parents brought her to a private hospital in Lucena City, taking the first RoRo trip from Balanacan to Talao-talao Port. But another unfortunate event happened when they reached Mt. Carmel Hospital: Mat, Icon’s elder brother, also had fever and was later on confirmed to have dengue, too. The following night, my bother-in-law, the kids’ father, was also diagnosed with dengue.
But that’s not all. Another nephew who was left in Yook, Buenavista, Marinduque, also started to have chills and felt very weak- all symptoms of dengue. Again, he had to take the Roro and travel more than four hours to get medical treatment.
Poor Medical Services
This experience is not exclusive to the family of my wife. Many other patients have to travel several hours via RoRo to get the necessary medical attention. And I am talking about dengue patients alone.
Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by an infected female Aedes mosquito. Dengue fever is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults. Symptoms appear in 3–14 days (average 4–7 days) after the infective bite.
The World Health Organization says there is no specific treatment for dengue fever and severe dengue is a potentially lethal complication. However, early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management by experienced physicians and nurses often save lives.
Unfortunately, Buenavista Mayor Russle Madrigal revealed that one patient in the nearby municipality of Gasan, died of dengue two nights ago.
Marinduque, the heart of the Philippine archipelago, is an island province in Region IV-B, the MIMAROPA region. It is a small province with an area of around 95,000 hectares and a population of less than 230,000. It has six municipalities— Mogpog, Gasan, Buenavista, Torrijos, Sta. Cruz, and its capital, the Municipality of Boac.
For a province that has produced some influential personalities like former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricardo Paras, SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, former PNP Chief Recaredo Sarmiento, celebrity dentist Ninia Rodil, and Executive Secretary Alexander Aguirre who also became a National Security Adviser during the time of President Estrada, it is so frustrating that basic medical services remain inadequate in Marinduque.
This inadequacy is further highlighted by the utter lack of attention by the local government officials. Marinduque Governor “Nanay” Carmencita Reyes, when interviewed by my wife, Atty. Rhina, in her DZRH program, could not even give details on dengue cases in her jurisdiction. Other than general statements, the only thing she said was that only the municipality of Buenavista has dengue cases. This is apparently erroneous because there has been a casualty in Gasan while some dengue patients from Mogpog and Boac are now confined either in UST hospital in Manila or Mt. Carmel in Lucena City. Nanay’s statement that the provincial hospital has enough medical supplies for its patients has yet to be verified.
Similarly, even the DOH seems to be uninformed on dengue cases in Marinduque.

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