BAGUIO CITY –The City Government marked the ASEAN Dengue Day celebration with a community mobilization activity that focused on reversing the role of used tires in the dengue campaign held last June 26 at Apugan, Loakan Brgy. City health officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said residents covered by the Loakan and Atok Trail health districts participated in the activities that revolved on the theme, “Halaman sa Gulong, Ating Isulong.” The theme highlighted the fact that used tires which are among the favorite breeding ground of dengue-carrying mosquitoes could serve as deterrents to the disease too apart from having other environmental and aesthetic uses. To demonstrate this, Galpo and Councilor Elaine Sembrano, city council committee on health chair, led other guests and barangays officials in planting insect repellent plants in planters made out of discarded tires Galpo said the barangay officials of the health district adopted the concept of converting used tires and turning them into useful items after determining that there are plenty of scattered tires in the barangays which accumulate rainwater and because of the black color, they attract mosquitoes.
They intend to collect the used tires, convert them as planters for insect repellant plants, donate them in the construction sites as soil erosion barriers and even to use them for income-generating projects for senior citizens and other organizations especially that one resident, Soriano Gaviran is skilled in transforming the tires into flower pots, swing and even as garden chair and table set. Sembrano in her speech lauded the community for the unique concept and for their efforts to protect their barangays from the effects of dengue. Galpo, for her part, also appreciated the community-based approach of the barangay and reminded the residents to adopt a healthy lifestyle as often advised by Mayor Mauricio Domogan covering diet, exercise, attitude or the DEA Habit to ensure that individuals develop strong immunity against infections. The activity was capped by the signing of the pledge of commitment to support the sustainability of the dengue prevention program by the guests and the community officials and residents. City Epidemiology and Surveillance Officer Dr. Donnabel Tubera encouraged other barangays to also initiate community activities in support of the dengue campaign. The ASEAN Dengue Day held June 15 focused on the theme, “one ASEAN Community against Dengue” and was celebrated in ASEAN countries in various dates this June. This was in recognition of the fact that “dengue has emerged as a major public health burden globally and has been the most rapidly-spreading mosquito-borne viral disease throughout the Asia Pacific region.” “The conduct of the event can be seen as a positive sign, indicating willingness of policymakers to take action, to achieve dengue case reduction goals, as well as willingness of individuals, families, communities, the private sectors, non-profitable organizations, and the government to work together to fight against the disease.” In the country, the celebration theme was, “Kung Walang Lamok, Walang Dengue,” Mag 4S Kontra Dengue (4 S : Search and destroy breeding places; Self-protection measures; Seek early consultation; Support spraying to prevent impending diseases.).” /Aileen P. Refuerzo