4 'O CLOCK HABIT. City Health Officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte says one Davao City resident was confirmed to have contracted the Japanese encephalitis and encourages the public to do the 4 'o clock habit everyday, and destroy all possible breeding ares of mosquitoes. The victim, a 52 year old man from Bacaca, has since been discharged and recovering, but is suffering from neurologic deficit.(Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com)

City Health Officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte  (Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY — City Mayor Sara Duterte warned that she will “find new people” if there will be no decrease in dengue cases from July to December.

“I want to see a decrease from July to December, otherwise, there is a need to find new people for this job,” the mayor said in a statement released Thursday, July 28.

The City Health Office has recorded 19 deaths from the more than 4,000 patients since January. Last year, only eight people in Davao  died because of dengue.

Dr. Josephine Villafuerte of the City Health Office said that as of June, the city has 4,002 dengue cases. The CHO data also showed that of the 19 deaths, at least 11 of them were children, with the oldest aged 5.

That the number of deaths could reach this high is definitely disconcerting and I am appalled because the government is supposed to be doing everything to prevent the breeding of the mosquitoes carrying the virus,” Duterte said.

Duterte said she has now ordered a review the local government’s actions against dengue.

“The agencies involved — the City Health Office, particularly — should always be on their feet, always to err on the side of prevention and not on reaction,” she said.

The CHO is also ordered to coordinate with the barangay officials in implementing anti-dengue programs.

The Department of Heath (DOH) has reported a 147 percent increase of dengue cases in the region during the first quarter of the year.

In a press conference last week, Engr. Antoinetta Ebol, dengue prevention control program manager of DOH said the number rose to a total of 4,564 cases and 40 deaths as of this month. Only 1,850 cases were reported last year.

Ebol said the rapid increase may be due to the rainfall pattern in Mindanao and the environmental sanitation factors like the water and disposal of the garbage.(davaotoday.com)

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