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Monday, July 25, 2016

Defeat Dengue thru Allied Against Dengue Movement + Dengue FAQs

7 years ago when I was 7 months pregnant with our eldest, I got really sick. My OB's diagnosis was UTI so she prescribed medicines and sent me home to rest. Two days after, I still wasn't feeling any better in fact I was feeling even more sick, severe headache, fever was still there, my cough and colds was giving me a hard time breathing and I was feeling really weak. And that's when we decided to rush to the emergency room where I was admitted right away. We were all worried especially for the baby inside me, because if I don't get better I might give birth prematurely. A machine was attached to me to closely monitor my baby.  Several laboratory tests were also done until we found out the culprit. My IgM test came back positive for dengue fever! It was a scary news, but I was relieved to learn that it wasn't the hemorrhagic fever which is considered as the severe one. We stayed for a couple more days in the hospital until I was feeling all better. I just then visited my OB frequently to monitor my baby. Thank God everything went well and I was able to deliver my baby healthy and full term.
It was my first personal and scary encounter with dengue, I can't imagine the pain and fear I've been through. Despite being a Nurse who is knowledgeable about the disease and was able to care for dengue patients before, experiencing dengue personally was a totally different thing. I am hoping that no one else in my family gets to experience it too so I'm doing my best in order to prevent it. That is why I'm glad that I was invited to become an Ally against dengue and got to attend the launching of the Allied Against Dengue Movement last July 12, 2016.


DOH Undersecretary Dr. Enrique Tayag, Philippine Pediatric Society Vice President Dra. Salvacion Gatchalian, DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau Director Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, GlaxoSmithKline General Manager Heather Pelier, and Calpol mom Jolina Magdangal-Escueta.

The Allied Against Dengue Movement was founded by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Philippines Inc. (GSKCH), united with Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Pharmacist Association Inc. (PPHA), Mercury Drug Corporation (MDC), Smartparenting.com.ph and CNN Philippines to create a non-profit open platform with the aim to empower healthcare providers, organizations and communities; and reduce the impact of dengue on the nation in a holistic manner from prevention and control to management. 

Dengue infection is prevalent in the world and Southeast Asia is the Epicenter of dengue mosquito breeding due to its tropical climate. Here in the Philippines, the disease outbreak is spreading to more areas and impacting more lives. In 2015 there were 200, 415 reported dengue fever cases, a 60% increase over 2014 which had 121,000 cases. This year, the incidence rate even shot higher with cases escalating 33% in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year.

Proud Allies against Dengue, Top/Seasoned Blogger Rowena Lim of www.animetric.net and Celebrity Calpol mom Jolina Magdangal-Escueta sharing advises and insights about Dengue
The movement aims to lead change and create a bigger impact to society through collaborative partnerships with the DOH, private institutions, healthcare providers, media influencers, and community leaders to help bring down the incidence rate of and deaths caused by dengue fever. And with the deployment of a robust nationwide education campaign through multiple channels, Allied Against Dengue seeks to curb the incidence growth rate and ultimately, make a real difference to the lives of Filipino. The coalition strategy will include: 
  1. Distribution of 50,000 DOH primers to at least 5 public schools in dengue hotspots in Metro Manila
  2. Distribution of 15,000 leaflets to 1,000 pediatricians and general practitioners
  3. Education of proper dengue fever prevention and management to 20 health centers for Baranggay outreach programs
  4. Implementation of Continuous Pharmacy Education (CPE) Program in identified chapters targeting 200 pharmacists
  5. Education and recruitment of at least 1000 Allies Against Dengue through employee engagement, online and on-ground activation.

Through this Allied Against Dengue Movement I learned more about this dreaded disease and as a Proud Ally against dengue I pledged to do my part and share with you this learning.

FAQs about Dengue

1. What causes Dengue Fever?
  • Dengue fever is a virus infection caused by the dengue virus which is acquired through a bite of an infected female Aedes Aegypti or the yellow fever mosquito. 
2. What are the Characteristics of the Aedes Aegypti?
  • They have white stripes
  • Drawn to warm skin
  • Drawn to victims who move a lot
  • Victims bitten on side or back of the body
  • Capable of travelling 50 to 300 meters from breeding area
  • Day biters, with biting peaks 2 hours after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset. 
  • They are abundant during rainy season
  • Lifespan of 20 to 30 days
  • They lay eggs after blood meal
3. How many strains of Dengue virus are there?
  • There are 4 Strains of the Dengue Virus and you only get immunity from the particular virus you got infected with. This means you are still susceptible to acquire dengue fever from the other 3 dengue viruses.
4. How can we prevent Dengue?
  • During the launch of the Allied Against Dengue Movement, DOH Undersecretary Dr. Enrique Tayag encourages everyone to use their 4 S strategy:
  1. Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites. 
  2. Self protection measures like choosing repellents or using mosquito nets during daytime. 
  3. Seek immediate consultation. 
  4. Say NO to indiscriminate fogging and YES during outbreak only.
  • Clean your house everyday paying attention on the gutters and spaces/holes that can accumulate stagnant water. Cover water storage and drums.
5. What re the symptoms of Dengue?
  • High continuous fever that lasts for 2-7 days
  • Hemorrhagic manifestations such as bleeding of the nose or gums
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Skin Flushing and Rashes
  • Loss of Appetite

6. What can we do at home?
  • There is no medicine or antibiotic that can treat dengue, only symptom management. For fever avoid giving Aspirin or Ibuprofen or NSAIDS as these may aggravate gastritis of bleeding in dengue fever. World Health Organization recommends Paracetamol only like Calpol which is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Philippines Inc.
  • Get enough bed rest
  • Take plenty of fluids
  • Perform tepid sponge baths
7. What are the warning signs of Dengue?

There is no need for hospitalization unless you observe this warning signs then you must seek immidiate medical attention:
  • Fever for more than 2 days
  • Severe abdominal Pain
  • Bleeding Nose and Gums
  • Persistent Vomiting with/without blood
  • Drowsiness, confusion, seizures
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Pallor, Cold/Clammy Hands or Feet
  • Sleeping most of the time
 Thank you GSK and #AlliedAgainstDengue for inviting me to be part of this movement.
Now that we are equipped with the right information we can totally make a big difference and save not just ourselves but the people around us. I invite everyone to become Proud Allies Against Dengue, share this information to everyone you know and together lets defeat Dengue! 

For more information on Allied Against Dengue and how to be an ally, contact GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Philippines Inc. at 1800-14441-0884/ 1800-8908-8275 or email them at ph.customer-relations@gsk.com