Monday, April 16, 2012

Philippines - DOH eyes infotech in dengue reporting

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health on Friday announced it was tapping information technology to implement “specific targeting” of dengue cases in communities in an effort to significantly curb the prevalence of the infectious tropical disease.

In a dengue summit attended by health experts and local government representatives, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the new process would allow real-time reporting of dengue cases from rural health units and hospitals.

Ona explained that under this system, rural health units or hospitals can immediately report a confirmed dengue case to a barangay-based health team, which will promptly conduct investigation.

“The patient’s name and address will be given to the barangay dengue brigade or community health team and the latter will visit the patient on the same day and identify other possible patients in the neighborhood,” Ona told reporters at the summit.

He said this is a big leap from the old process that relied on the overall data gathered from sentinel hospitals across the country, which usually takes two to three weeks to complete.

“We will no longer wait for the cases to go up … we’ll conduct specific targeting,” said Ona.

A total of 16,511 dengue cases have been posted from January to March this year, which is 28.96 percent lower than the reported incidence the same period last year.

The bulk of the cases–27.4 percent–has been attributed to Metro Manila. Central Luzon ranked second, accounting for 23.1 percent of the total cases, followed by Calabarzon with 16.9 percent.

Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer

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