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Climate Change linked to Philippine Dengue Outbreak, ASEAN in danger as well

July 30, 2010

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA, UNITED NATIONS REGIONAL CHAMPION FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION TODAY STRESSED ON THE STRONG LINK BETWEEN THE EL NINO PHENOMENON AND THE HIGH INCIDENCE OF DENGUE IN THE COUNTRY AS WELL AS THE ASEAN REGION.
Legarda warned, “The National Epidemiology Center (NEC) reported 29,393 dengue cases and 228 deaths in the country from Jan. 1 to July 10, 2010 as compared to 18,055 dengue cases reported last year covering the same period. Dengue cases went up by 40% this year compared to the same period last year, according to the Department of Health.”
“Some 172 villages were also found to have a clustering of dengue cases. The regions with the most number of cases included Central Luzon, South Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos (Socsksargen), Southern Tagalog, National Capital Region, Central Visayas and Davao. ”
“We are on the verge of a dangerous outbreak. Before the situation becomes uncontrollable, we must do something about it.”
“The World Health Organization has warned us that climate change is increasing the incidence of dengue fever and other infectious diseases in the country. ”
“Sicknesses such as dengue make our population more vulnerable, especially those who cannot afford health care, much less health insurance. In order to strengthen our citizen’s resilience against climate-change related diseases and prevent them from getting worse, I call on the Department of Health and the Local Government Units to step up their efforts to control this situation.”
“I filed Senate Bill No. 9 which strongly recommends that every barangay should have a “Barangay Nutrition Worker” who will be responsible in delivering nutrition services and other related activities such as community health, backyard food production, environmental sanitation, supplemental feeding and family planning efforts to his respective community.”
Legarda concluded, “”We cannot ignore this strong correlation as we continue to implement and impose on policies that do not take into consideration our changing climate. We would be ignoring the very source of the problem.”