A five-minute habit. That’s what local officials from South Cotabato want to inculcate among residents to help in curbing the spread of dengue.

As part of its information, education and communication (IEC) campaign, local government officials are urging residents to spend five minutes each day to clear out areas or get rid of objects that could serve as breeding ground for the dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

“Every day each household should seek out places and containers such as vases, and tires where water could be stored and where mosquitoes could lay eggs. It should take only a few minutes,” Dr Alah Baby Vingno, assistant provincial health officer, said.

The 5-minute campaign will complement the Department of Health’’s “4 o’clock habit”.

Dr Vingno further emphasized that much of the success of the anti-dengue campaign would come from the household members and their initiation and willingness to adapt the habit.

The most recent data showed 1,585 dengue cases in the province, a number 29.3 percent higher compared to the cases recorded last year during the same period.

From January to May 20, 10 deaths have so far been recorded so far.

Further, the measure will be the highlight for the ASEAN Dengue Day observation and the Dengue Awareness Month in Koronadal City, which recorded the highest number of dengue cases in the province.

Part of the campaign will be playing a radio plug to have the message aired over local radio stations and put up messages in public places.

Based on the latest tally from the DOH Epidemiological Bureau gathered between January 1 to May 6, a total of 33,760 dengue cases have been reported nationwide, which is 31.9 percent lower compared to last year’s tally of 49,565 cases during the same duration.

The ages of those affected ranged from one month to 98 years old. Majority of cases were male at 54 percent.

There have been a total of 189 deaths, with the highest fatalities occurring among the 0-4 age group. MIMS

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