ANGELES CITY — The Department of Health (DOH) has lauded the efforts of a village here for implementing various programs to prevent the spread of dengue.

Health officials, including Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag, presented a certificate of recognition to Barangay Balibago during the Asean Dengue Day held at the Bayanihan Park here on Sunday.

Assistant Health Secretaries Gerado Bayugo and Nemesio Gako, and DOH Central Luzon Director Leonita Gorgolon assisted Tayag in presenting the certificate to Balibago officials.

The award, signed by Health Secretary Enrique Ona, stated that Barangay Balibago displayed “exemplary performance in raising awareness and mobilizing public and private resources for the prevention and control of dengue in the city.”

Balibago chairman Rodelio “Tony” Mamac said he was elated by the award saying “they are just doing their job for the people.”

Mamac said the number of dengue cases in their village greatly decreased over the past few years because of cleanliness and proper waste management.

“Since I assumed office [more than six years ago], I implemented a cleanliness drive and solid waste management program,” Mamac said.

“Napakasimple. Dapat tanggalin at maalis ang pinagmumulan ng problema. Ang ginawa namin ay inalis ang lahat ng bagay na pwedeng pamugaran ng mga lamok,” he added.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the World Health Organization (WHO) has chosen this city as venue for this year’s Dengue Day celebration.

The Asean and WHO noted a significant drop in dengue cases in this highly urbanized city that could serve as a model for an international anti-dengue campaign.

The DOH said this year’s Dengue Day theme is “Unity and harmony within the Asean community: Key in the fight against dengue.”

Asean has reported an increasing number of dengue cases from 2012 to 2013.

Asean secretary-general Le Luong Minh said, “Dengue represents a significant economic burden on our region and hinders our development goals. The importance in addressing dengue at the regional level involving various stakeholders in a proactive and collective response cannot be overemphasized.”

Dengue, according to Asean, is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the world, and the Asia-Pacific accounts for 75 percent of cases globally.

The WHO has estimated 50 million to 100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. In the Western Pacific region, 31 out of 37 countries and areas have reported dengue cases in the past two decades.

Asean is composed of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 18, 2014.

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