Stop Dengue in Schools

June of every year marks the opening of classes. It is also the start of the rainy season in the Philippines. This is when the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, carrier of dengue disease, attack most. Children are the usual victims of this dangerous and deadly dengue disease.

It is for this reason that the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Education (DepEd) declared June as National Dengue Awareness Month and June 15 as National Dengue Day. It aims to strengthen the campaign against dengue. Since kids spend half their time in school, DepEd supports the drive in preventing dengue in schools.

It is alarming to note that in the first quarter of 2015, DOH has recorded nearly 20,000 cases of dengue in the country. What’s even more shocking is the fact that Region X (Northern Mindanao) ranks fourth among 17 regions with the highest incidents of dengue. Malaybalay, the city within the forest, is in danger. We live in a place where mosquitoes thrive.

Teachers, parents, and even pupils themselves must all be aware of the risk of dengue. They must more importantly know how to prevent this deadly disease from spreading and causing more damage.

Malaybalay City Central School is very active in its fight against dengue. It implements the 4S Kontra Dengue strategy by the DOH. Search and destroy possible places and areas where mosquitoes live. In MCCS, there was a clean-up drive where pupils and parents cleared up bottles, cans, containers, canals, and flower pots from stagnant waters wherein mosquitoes love to live. Seek early consultation in case the child feels sick within two to three days. In MCCS, pupils who say they are not feeling well are brought to the school clinic for check-up and are given medications by the nurses.

Children and their parents are also taught to do self-protective measures. In MCCS, teachers tell their pupils to use kulambo (mosquito net), katol (mosquito coil), and mosquito repellent such as Off lotion. The Parents Teachers Association (PTA) put up a screen in all classrooms of MCCS. This screen called Olyset contains chemicals that keep mosquitoes away. The MCCS family says no to indiscriminate fogging for it emits smoke that is harmful to the human body and to the environment.

The school also organized the Little Doctors League whose member are in-charge of distributing and monitoring the anti-dengue materials called OL-Trap given by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to every classroom.

Each anti-dengue set consists of a piece of wood, black plastic pot, and chemicals that when mixed with water will kill the eggs of mosquitoes.  Members of the group spread the news about dengue and ways to fight it. Room to room campaign is done for information dissemination. They also posted posters on walls around the school premises to warn people of the fatal dengue disease.

All schools are summoned to ensure safety and health of all learners in the Division of Malaybalay City.

by: Irene A. Dinlayan, T III
      Malaybalay City Central School