Solons hold talks with Duque on dengue

Martin Romualdez and Francisco Duque
DENGUE PROBLEM. House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez (left) meets with Health Secretary Francisco Duque (right) to discuss joint executive-legislative action on the dengue scourge. Romualdez was accompanied by congressmen from NCR, Regions 8 and 9 whose legislative districts were affected by the latest virus outbreak. Photo by Ver Noveno

BOTHERED by the dengue alert, some lawmakers held a round table discussion with Health Secretary Francisco Duque.

The talks with Duque were initiated by Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, whose province, Leyte, is among the areas affected by dengue.

The solons and Duque discussed among others the immediate and long-term measures to address Dengue.

Earlier, Duque declared a nationwide dengue alert spurred by provinces with high rates of cases.

“The dengue scourge has affected Region 8, particularly the Leyte and Samar provinces. We are very, very fortunate that Secretary Duque is here at the Office of House Majority Leader so we invited the members of the region eight bloc and as well as those from Iloilo and Zamboanga Sibugay where this scourge has also been very, very much felt,”  Romualdez said.

“Secretary Duque has endeavored to support each and every congressman’s requirements to stave off the increase or the spike of the scourge not just through informative talks and discussions here, but with actual concrete initiatives to support in addressing the problem,” he added.  

Duque welcomed the initiative and willingness of the lawmakers to join hands with the Department of Health (DoH) in addressing the dengue problem.

“Secretary Duque was candid enough. He needs the support of everyone since at the moment, there is no medicine effective to cure a viral disease such as dengue. Only through community effort can we win the war against dengue,” Romualdez said.

Duque, however, reportedly committed to download the soonest time possible all resources available from the DoH to the provinces so that dengue patients may get instant relief from the cost of hospitalization.    

Duque advised congressmen to encourage local government units to enter into agreements with public and private hospitals in order to widen the reach of medical assistance provided by the health department.

With Jezreel Biscocho

Aside from financial support, the Health Secretary also committed to make available equipment and chemicals needed by LGUs for mosquito fogging operations in their areas of jurisdiction.      

Based on DoH monitoring, the following regions had exceeded the epidemic threshold: Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao.

The following regions, meanwhile, have exceeded the alert threshold: Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and Cordillera Administrative Region. 

In a related story, Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas has called on concerned government agencies to recognize the medical use of Tawa-tawa, a known herbal elements commonly used by Filipino households in treating dengue ailments.

“I call on the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Health and Bureau of Food and Drugs to recognize Tawa-tawa and its elements of cure. It is about time, that we do scientific reseach on how to effectively utilize the success of Tawa-tawa in curing dengue-patients that is now becoming a regular epedimic,”  Vargas said.

In the first half of 2019, the Department of Health recorded 106,630 dengue cases and cases of the hemorrhagic fever continue to rise in several regions in the country, with around 500 deaths as a result.  

Tawa-tawa, scientific name Euphorbia hirta, is proven effective in most cases of dengue. Administered orally, a number of victims attest that it helps improve the healing mechanism of patients, as it promotes cell production and prevents platelet destruction. Such claim is backed up by a number of scientific researches and findings. However, most doctors eschew the use of Tawa-tawa as a remedy.