By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday urged the Department of Health (DOH) and local government officials to intensify their information campaign on leptospirosis as the number of casualties continue to rise.
Binay said the DOH, with the help of local government units (LGUs), should remain proactive in its objective to inform the public of the symptoms of the disease and how to avoid it.
“We need to solicit people’s participation and find community-level ways to prevent the spread of the disease,” Binay said in a statement.
“Nakaka-alarma na po ang pagtaas ng bilang ng leptospirosis cases sa bansa, lalo na po sa Kamaynilaan (The rise in the number of leptospirosis cases, especially in Manila, is already alarming),” she added.
Flood control remains to be a big challenge to LGUs and combating leptospirosis is a bigger challenge, noted the lawmaker.
“The rise in leptospirosis highlights a public health issue. There’s a need to make giant steps towards addressing the disease by engaging all sectors including those in charge of public works,” the senator added.
She said local government executives down to the barangay level should help in the information campaign, and in clearing drainage systems and areas where rats commonly stay.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals and rodents are said to be the common animals that spread the disease.
“Ang panawagan po sa ngayon sa ating mga LGUs ay ang palagiang linisin at tanggalan ng bara ang mga drainage systems sa kanilang mga nasasakupan upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng leptospirosis, (We call on LGUs to always clean up and declog our drainage systems within their communities to arrest the spread of leptospiros),” she said.
“There is a need for a concerted effort from all fronts in immediately spreading awareness regarding leptospirosis,” she said in filing Senate Resolution No. 783.
Binay said there is a need to proactively address the prevalence of the disease, especially ways to avoid it.
“Kailangan din pong malaman kung ano ang mga sintomas nito, upang maagapan agad ang mga posibleng kaso, (It is imperative to know the symptoms of the disease to prevent new possible cases), she added.
Last weekend, the DOH declared outbreaks in 10 more barangays in Metro Manila, bringing to 28 the number of barangays affected by the disease.
These were in Quezon City, Taguig, Pasig, Parañaque, Navotas, Mandaluyong, Malabon, and Caloocan.
The agency added that from January 1 to June 23, there were 1,085 reported cases of leptospirosis, a 35 percent increase from the same period in 2017.
In Metro Manila, there were 454 reported cases, with 58 deaths as of July 5.