The Department of Education together with the Department of Health started today the series of elementary school visits in Rizal Elementary School in Manila in order to inform children on the prevention of dengue and its signs and symptoms.

As of August 14, a total of 54,659 dengue cases were reported nationwide. This figure is 74.9% higher when compared to the same period last year. There were 429 deaths recorded.

“Dengue is a disease more common during rainy season and affects mostly (77%) the 1-20 years age group,” Health Secretary Enrique Ona explained.

DOH has come up with an extensive information communication campaign to fight dengue. Called 4S, it stands for search and destroy, self-protection measures, seek early consultation, and say “NO” to indiscriminate fogging.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro stressed that students should learn to protect themselves from dengue. “By practicing the 4-S strategy of DOH, particularly keeping the surroundings clean and making sure that there is no stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed, we can prevent dengue fever,” Luistro advised.

He also urged school officials to closely monitor students especially during rainy season and to promptly address school health concerns.

“Our students’ welfare is our primary concern. The outbreak prevention is for the benefit of not just the students, but the entire community, therefore, it should be a shared responsibility of all,” added Luistro.

According to DOH data, ages of patients with dengue range from less than a month to 95 years old. Most of the cases are also said to have come from Western Visayas (7680), Central Mindanao (6470), CALABARZON (5739), Eastern Visayas (5543), National Capital Region ((4744), Southern Mindanao (4658), and Northern Mindanao (3935).

Both Ona and Luistro agreed that discarding all water receptacles such as empty softdrink bottles, old tires, or even bamboo husks which can serve as breeding ground for the Aedes aegpti mosquito is an excellent way to prevent dengue.

DepEd has also issued guidelines on the implementation of Preventive Alert System in Schools (PASS), a systematic relay of information on the child’s or teacher’s state of health to medical personnel/agencies in the locality which all school heads should follow. PASS is based on DOH’s guidelines both agencies used when cases of A (H1N1) increased in the country last year.

Under PASS, pupils/students will observe the well-being of their own classmates and to report if someone among them is not feeling well or has colds/cough or fever. If confirmed, the principal shall notify the family/guardian of the sick child. If the school does not have a physician, the nearest health center physician/municipal health officer or rural health worker shall be consulted.

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