Health officials advised the public to be continuously vigilant against disease-carrying insects, especially mosquitoes, during the dry season, saying there was still much work to do before the rainy season comes.
During the Department of Health’s (DOH) morning assembly on Monday, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the drying up of waterways in summer makes them breeding grounds of mosquitoes and other disease carriers.
The DOH also launched its new ‘anti-mosquito dance’ led by Ona, Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag, country representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Julie Hall and other deparment officials and employees. The music used in the dance exercise was a remix of novelty songs, including ‘Alam Mo Ba’, which was performed by children of DOH employees.
The exercise was introduced in line with the celebration of World Health Day, with a focus on protection from so-called vector-borne diseases, or those carried by organisms like mosquitoes.
In a statement on Friday, the WHO said “one-sixth of the illness and disability suffered worldwide is due to vector-borne diseases, with more than half the world’s population currently estimated to be at risk.” The international health group also stressed that mosquito-carried diseases like malaria and dengue still pose the greatest threat to global health.
Meanwhile, Hall said “there is a lot of work to be done to make sure that dengue and chikungunya don’t rise over the rainy season.”
“So really, as we all know, it is about cleaning up and covering up to protect ourselves from vector-borne diseases,” she added.