Health dept intensifies efforts to boost health of drivers, conductors



A TRADE union representative has sought a congressional probe into the alleged illegal entry of foreign workers into the country.


THE Department of Health—National Capital Regional Office (DOH-NCRO) on Monday started its Anti-Dengue Ultra Low Volume Spraying and Disinfection Operations and pneumococcal vaccination in bus terminals along Epifanio De los Santos Avenue (Edsa) as part of its continuing campaign to eliminate dengue in the region and to provide protection for bus drivers and conductors against pneumonia.


“We will continue to sustain our anti-dengue efforts until such time that dengue in Metro Manila is eliminated. Spraying activities and disinfection of public areas in various barangays are also being conducted regularly,” Health Undersecretary Ted Herbosa said.


Herbosa added the pneumococcal vaccine is for the protection of bus drivers and conductors who are always exposed to diseases and bacteria, which they might acquire from handling the currency they collect from passengers.


“These bacteria and diseases can be passed on easily. One vaccine will give a person three years of protection against diseases caused by streptococcus pneumoniae,” he stressed.


Meanwhile, partial report from the DOH Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) showed there were 1,597 dengue cases admitted at different reporting institutions of the region from January 1 to March 15, which is 40 percent lower compared to the same period last year with 2,643 cases.


Most (22 percent) cases were from Manila City.


Four deaths were reported. Ages of cases ranged from nine days to 80 years. Most (49 percent) of those affected belonged to the 15 to  49 years age group. Majority (54 percent) were males.


Among the cities with the most number of dengue cases are Manila with 354 dengue cases; Quezon with 293 cases; Las Piñas with137; Pasig with 130; Caloocan with 119 and Parañaque with 104.


The agility of mosquitoes to travel by bus from neighboring regions and provinces of Metro Manila prompted the department to target areas frequented by commuters.


Mosquitoes carrying dengue disease can bite passengers who sleep while waiting for their scheduled trip home.


Also, there are travelling passengers who already have fever and when bitten by a mosquito, the virus can be transferred to another passenger by the same mosquito.


The chemicals used by the department for its spraying and disinfection operations are certified environment friendly by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).


The efficacy of the spray can last up to three months. One droplet is enough to kill mosquitoes and other insects such as cockroaches and even flies.


Anti-dengue misting/spraying using water-based insecticide on buses will start at 6:30 a.m., garbage cans, comfort rooms and waiting areas will also be disinfected to prevent the spread of bacteria.


Open canals and stagnant waters will be treated with larvicide to kill the eggs and larvae. Terminals and buses will be sprayed to ensure that mosquitoes hiding inside will be killed.


Among the bus companies along Edsa that were sprayed and disinfected were JAC Liner Inc., Victory Liner Inc., RJ Express Inc., First North Luzon Transit, JAM Liner, Ceres Tours, Florida Bus, Dagupan Bus Co., DLTB Bus Co., ALPS Bus Co., AB Liner, Lucena Lines, Dominion Bus Lines, Dalin Bus, Viron Transit, Super Lines Trans Co. Inc., Raymund Transportation, Five Star Bus Co., Santrans, Inc., ES Transport, Genesis Transport Service Inc., HM Transport Inc., Partas Bus Co., N. Dela Rosa Transit, Ferminas Bus Co., Philtranco and Isarog Lines.


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