A Hook and Gaze to June | National Dengue Awareness Month

Published on: 30/06/2020

The declaration of the dengue awareness month is the microcosm of the battle against the vectors of the disease, the mosquitoes, that needs community - based approaches to be applied not just in local mainstream but to the rest of the ASEAN Countries.

As rainy season enters the climate scene, there is more to be minded of. As rain pours, stagnant water adds to the risks and burdens in the widespread of dengue for it will continue to affect communities and countries globally. Amidst the current pandemic brought by COVID-19, dengue is another menace to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) specifically in the Philippines. Information dissemination campaign, prevention and control programs are things to be promoted this month of June - deemed as the National Dengue Awareness Month.

In a mere aspect, dengue has been a threat to human lives for decades.  The fight against it seeks social mobilization to further prevent cases. This moved the ASEAN Health Ministers on their meeting held last 22 July 2010 to observe ASEAN Dengue Day every 15th of June each year. Earlier, the Philippine Government marked the same month as the National Dengue Awareness on 21 March 1998. Based on the concept note of ASEAN Dengue Day 2019, the collective efforts of the community in the ASEAN Regions allow the strengthening of the initiatives of the policy makers in raising awareness on how to prevent dengue and aim the promotion of the effective and efficient program controls. As identified, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus have been responsible for dengue. In addition, Aedes aegypti breeds in artificial containers while Aedes albopictus thrives in domestic containers.

Like the current situation in the health line, a disease like dengue, if not given an adequate strategic prime prevention and control, the number of victims may rise in surprise. The World Health Organization (WHO), Chan, M., released the Global Strategy for Dengue Prevention and Control 2012-2020 to reverse the alarming trend as dengue has been known to be a neglected tropical disease. Henceforth, global strategies were enforced. WHO further stated that in order to reverse the trend there should be the commitment of the partner organizations such as countries involved in reducing the burden brought by dengue through the implementation of the following strategies:

  • Diagnosis and case management
  • Integrated surveillance and outbreak preparedness
  • Sustainable vector control 
  • Future vaccine implementation
  • Basic operational and implementation research

Meanwhile in the Philippines, the battle against dengue is challenging once the rainy season starts. The Philippine National Red Cross’s Emergency Plan of Action for Dengue Outbreak dated 24 July 2019, released that there is a massive increase in dengue cases. Thus, this urged the health department to take on the technical strategies to prevent and control the alert to exceed in epidemic threshold for some of its regions. A part of the preventive control is The 4S in Fighting Against Dengue known as Search and Destroy, Self- Protection Measures, Seek Early Consultation and Say No to Indiscriminate Fogging. Back in 1997, Dominguez, Ma. N., highlighted that control measures for dengue were instituted as necessary as cases were recorded as early as 1953 and to this recent times the status is set as a threat.

Philippine Red Cross, Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), Philippines: Dengue Outbreak, 2019
Dominguez, Ma. N., Current DF / DHF Prevention and Control Programme in the Philippines, Dengue Bulletin- Vol 21, 1997
Concept Note Dengue Day 2019, June 15, 2019