Three years ago my niece Ambrichie Rose (my sister Farah’s daughter) had been struck with dengue and so are many other kids and even adults not only in Tabuk but also in nearby towns/provinces.
It was distressing and agonizing for us to see our angel suffer, she lost a lot of weight, she was so pale, and truly weak and frail. She lost appetite and she doesn’t even want to drink her milk anymore. She cried (I mean really really really cried) in pain and discomfort. Who won’t be if your arms and legs and feet are swollen due to the many IVs that had been connected to her since she was hospitalized (minimum of 10 IVs and counting). Richie was hospitalized for more than a week due to her on-and-off high fever and her blood platelets had gone dangerously low. She had undergone platelet transfusion thrice. It’s a good thing she was diagnosed of the dengue virus at an early stage. Thanks to the good doctors from Tabuk and Carrig hospital in Tuguegarao. It was a miracle and a blessing she survived dengue. She was only 8 months back then.
This time, Kalinga province had been once again under the grip of the dengue virus. Though I’ve no idea as to how many cases of dengue is recorded, but a friend and highschool batchmate of mine who is a nurse working at the Kalinga provincial hospital confirmed that they’ve been receiving lots of dengue-stricken patients everyday and that the hospital has been crowding due to these cases.
Dengue usually is more prevalent in rural poverty stricken areas where lack of sanitation is a common condition. But first world countries like Singapore are hit too. I had my own dengue fever scare last week when the GP doctor I consulted diagnosed me of having a viral fever. She said if my fever doesn’t improve in a week time or if it worsens then I have to undergo series of lab tests to check if I have dengue fever or not.
The good thing is that, the Singapore government have responded well to the dengue problem (they take health issues seriously). They currently have an active nationwide information dessimination campaign using pamphlets, posters, banners, commercials, and a website solely dedicated to the campaign against dengue – http://www.dengue.gov.sg/ – the campaign aims to generate general awareness among people living in Singapore and educating them about dengue, what to do when one had contracted the disease, how to prevent it, and a daily monitoring report of current dengue cases all over the country.
I hope the Philippines has it’s own similar program too in fighting dengue, educating its 90M (+++) population about dengue, tackling preventive measures and controlling its spread especially in rural areas like Kalinga.
Dengue is a serious health concern. It will not only compromise your health, it will also burn you and your family mentally, emotionally and financially. We’ve been there.
– Sharosem (02August2010)
PS : For more information on dengue, check these websites: