This time it is the City Government of Muntinlupa doing its part to curb dengue cases. Through a press release issued today by their Public Information Office, it was announced that Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi ordered the City Health Office to purchase P10 million worth of spraying materials for fogging activities and space spraying as measures to curb dengue cases in the city.
“The local government will intensify its campaign and strategies against dengue including the 4 o’clock habit which encourages the public to clean, search, and destroy possible mosquito breeding places,” Fresnedi said.
It was mentioned that the Muntinlupa CHO has been coordinating with the city’s nine barangays and public and private schools for the conduct of daily clean-up and information drives on how to prevent dengue.
City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao advised parents to send their children to local health centers upon manifestation of symptoms such as high fever for three or more consecutive days, severe headache, rashes, and among others.
Residents were urged by the City Government to keep their houses and surroundings clean to lower the risk of dengue. The public was reminded to regularly clean and monitor containers than can hold unnecessary stagnant water which may become breeding sites of mosquitoes such as bottle cap, dish dryer, plant axil, gutter, trash can, and old rubber tires.
On August 6, Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque II declared a National Dengue Epidemic in relation to the 146,062 cases recorded (January to July 20) this year here in the Philippines.
Duque revealed that the reported cases are almost 100% higher than compared to the same period in 2018. The total number of deaths recorded this year is now at 622.
The declaration was the result of a full council meeting at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that took place at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
In South Metro Manila, the City Government of Las Piñas responded to the declaration by informing their constituents to be prepared and vigilant of dengue. Mayor Imelda Aguilar and her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery called on all city residents to be careful and strive to clean up their homes and spots of their local areas. The City Government confirmed that all health centers around the city have dengue testing kits and the testing itself will be done for free.
Now that a national dengue crisis has been confirmed, now is the time for people living and working here in the Philippines to find not only the most effective methods to protect themselves from the disease but also to help cure the people already suffering from it.
To put things in perspective, the term dengue refers to both the virus and the fever. Dengue virus is a mosquito-borne, single positive-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus.
Dengue fever is a harsh condition that includes symptoms of high fever, vomiting, pains on the muscle and joints, headache, pain behind the eyes, fatigue and skin rash. The time it takes for a sufferer to recover from it is two to seven days. However, there have been a small number of cases in which dengue fever becomes severe (referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever). The symptoms for severe dengue include low blood platelets, bleeding and blood plasma leakage. There is also dengue shock syndrome which includes low blood pressure.
How to cure dengue? A scientist I met in Makati City told me it was papaya leaf juice.
For the newcomers reading this, the use of papaya leaf juice in treating dengue is not new. Rather it has been used for a long time in some areas of India and Southeast Asia. As dengue continues to spread and affect new victims around the world, it is expected that papaya leaf juice will grow in terms of demand.
To put things perspective, let’s start with the health benefits that papaya leaves carry. The leaf of the papaya contains a large amount of enzymes that include papain and chymopapain. These aid digestion and prevent bloating as well as digestive disorders. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, papaya leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and B while the specific minerals are iron, sodium magnesium, calcium and magnesium. The papaya leaf juice also comes with a compound that help with blood clotting and restricting internal bleeding.
Dr. Sheela Krishnaswamy, a nutritionist based in Bangalore, stated that certain studies “have shown that papaya leaf juice contributes significantly in the production of platelets.”
According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, 30 ml of fresh papaya leaf juice helps in increasing the blood platelet count which is crucial in treating dengue.
A team of chemical engineers in the Food and Pharmaceutical Engineering Group at the university are working on extracting carpaine (a bioactive compound) for use in the form of a pill. Because dengue is a huge health problem as the Aedes mosquito population grows, Associate Professor Dr. Ching Lik Hii (who leads the research at UNMC) got inspired to come up with methods to make the herbal remedy easier to process and consume.
Even as there are skeptics about papaya leaf juice as a cure for dengue, the confirmed results so far showed signs of effectiveness on the blood platelet count which itself is an important indicator on the patient’s health status while suffering dengue fever. In addition, papaya leaves
For the meantime, it would be helpful to convince local authorities (especially those who work in health and in government) to at least take a look at research of papaya leaf juice as an option for curing dengue. It is also timely right now that we should examine our nation’s harvest of the papaya trees with stronger focus on growing the leaves.
Do you see a papaya tree near you? Do NOT burn it and do NOT cut it down. Its leaves can be crucial to helping your nation deal with the ongoing dengue crisis. If you know someone who is suffering from dengue fever, then it is crucial to buy many papaya leaves and convert them into liquid form for drinking!
As the Philippines has a dengue crisis to deal, now is the time to contact your barangay (community government) officials, the city government officials, the provincial government officials (for those living in the provinces), the members of the House of Representatives and the Senators to encourage them to explore (if not utilize) papaya leaf juice as an option to treat dengue sufferers.
Recently at the developing community of Masville in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City, a 21-year-old man died by suicide by hanging himself to death in a residence. The reason? Because he broke up with his girlfriend.
This was revealed to me by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairperson Mariel Tumang during my exclusive interview with her on the topic of youth suicide.
To put things in perspective, Tumang stated that the age definition of youth under the Reformed SK system is 15 to 30-years-old. The guy who took his life is therefore identified as a youth and was already working. On July 20, Tumang attended the man’s funeral at his family residence and the experience reminds her that the SK has a responsibility to ensure that youth suicides would be prevented.
“We had one project with Kagawad Rocel Espino who handled the barangay committee on education which includes youths. The project she created was the youth camp and it was organized at a local school,” Tumang said. “Many youths attended and they shared problems and concerns. We at the SK will adapt that kind of project.”
In preparation for the planned youth camp, the BFSK chairperson and the kagawads will have to do some research as well as make presentations in seminars. A youth orientation activity done by Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Espino was held recently which educated many youth participants. This, of course, sets a model of guidance for the BFSK as part of their preparation for the planned youth camp which, as of this writing, still has no date nor a venue finalized.
“We also have the mental health awareness counseling program planned at the SK. Right now we are still discussing as to when we could organize it,” Tumang stated. “I really want to organize the mental health awareness program and youth camp soon as I learned many helpful lessons from a seminar at Paranaque City Hall.”
The said seminar was about mental health awareness and by participating in it, Tumang said she realized the many factors that contribute to suicide such as depression, insecurity, uncertainty and the like. Even words can hurt a person and even cause him or her to get depressed.
“That was a very engaging seminar the discussions were very in-depth. I learned so much from it and I believe we can really help the local youths,” she said.
Tumang added that Kagawad Espino taught her that youths struggle as they grow up and get educated. The struggles include being unable to open up and speak out about their concerns, being fearful about others judging them, and the like. There are also youths who are a lot more vulnerable or more sensitive than meets the eye.
“Because words can be painful, some jokes cracked at youths hurt them very deep inside reaching to the point of cracking under social pressure, becoming stressed or, even worse, they begin to think about suicide,” Tumang said.
To put suicide in perspective, it was reported in Business Mirror that in the year 2012, a total of 2,550 cases of suicides (all ages) in the Philippines were registered according to Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Herminigildo Valle.
The BFSK chairperson plans to have the youth camp (and hopefully the health awareness counseling program) push through sometime this September. However pulling it off remains challenging due to budgeting, the time management of activities and getting valuable resources.
The Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes is reaching out to generous members of the public who wish to donate to them (cash or in kind) for the purpose of organizing the youth camp and its campaign to prevent youths from dying by suicide.
To inquire or give something, communicate directly with BFSK Chairperson Mariel Tumang at Barangay BF Homes hall along Elsie Gatches street in Parañaque City.