DOST eyes research-based techs to address dengue problem
Aileen Cerrudo • September 5, 2019 • 902
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) wants to look into research-based technologies to address the dengue problem in the country.
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said the department has funded several research projects and programs to aid in addressing the different aspects of the disease.
“Through the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, we have funded a number of research projects and programs consistent with the multi-prong approach in the control of dengue that address different aspects such as diagnosis and treatment,” he said.
One of the researches supported by the DOST is the Biotek M which is a rapid diagnostic test for dengue. This kit can diagnose dengue as early as two to three days after the onset of illness.
They are also looking into a possible herbal medicine for dengue.
“Dengue research and development has always been one of the priority research areas in the country. This is stated in the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda led by the DOST,” said Sec. de la Peña.—AAC
Members of the House of Representatives are pushing for a bigger budget for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2020.
The DOST’s budget proposal is P20.18 billion, which is P79.85 million lower than its 2019 allocation of P20.26 billion.
However, 2nd District Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. pushed to increase the DOST budget by at least P5 billion for all the provinces across the country.
During the budget briefing of the House Committee on Appropriations, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the efforts of the department has raised the country’s rank by 19 spots in the Global Innovation Index this year.
The DOST Secretary also added that several initiatives of the department has helped address the concerns of the Filipinos. These include the Anti-Dengue Program, the Malnutrition Reduction Program, the creation of Hybrid Electric Trainsets, and others.
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago also expressed hope for the DOST’s budget augmentation.
“I really lament that you have very meager budget…Science and technology should be our top priority,” Elago said.—AAC
MANILA, Philippines – Dengue cases reported in the Philippines have reached more than 208,000 from January 1 to August 10 this year, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday.
The DOH said this figure is higher than the 102, 298 cases recorded in the same period last year.
Of this number, 900 deaths were reported.
Data from the DOH revealed that ten regions including the National Capital Region (NCR) have exceeded the Dengue Epidemic Threshold for the said period.
DOH Dengue Surveillance Report also showed that Region 6 (Western Visayas) had the most number of cases at 23,330 followed by Region 4-A (Calabarzon) with 16,515, Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) with 12,317, Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) with 11,455 and Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN) with 11,083 cases.
In San Lazaro Hospital in Manila alone, at least 100 patients infected with dengue are being monitored daily since July.
According to San Lazaro Hospital Spokesperson Ferdinand de Guzman, the number of dengue cases is seen to rise in the coming months.
“We’re only in August, just August, so we still have months to come with rains. So, in fact, we feel the dengue season started late this year, although in the provinces there are already cases and the Department of Health’s predictions have been right, we might see so many cases of dengue,” he said.
“We still expect to see cases of dengue until the end of the year, so until the rains are here, there will still be dengue cases, so we have to be careful,” he added.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection contracted through a bite of dengue virus-carrying mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. These mosquitoes can lay eggs in containers or spaces that can hold water, even plant pots with stagnant water.
Symptoms of the dengue fever include sudden onset of fever for two to seven days along with headache, rashes, fatigue, joint and muscle pains, pain behind the eyes, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
The DOH has been calling on the public to help prevent and control the spread of dengue by maintaining cleanliness and searching and destroying mosquito breeding sites. (RRD with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)
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