Iloilo church bells to ring daily vs dengue

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Visayas Bureau
Last updated 03:46pm (Mla time) 07/23/2007

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — In an effort to mobilize Iloilo City residents in the campaign against dengue fever, the bells of Catholic churches in Iloilo City will be ringing at 4 p.m. starting Monday next week.


Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said that the church bells will be rung every afternoon from July 30 to August 6 as a signal for residents of the city’s 180 villages to remove or destroy possible breeding grounds of mosquitoes carrying the virus.


The Center for Health Development of the Department of Health (DoH) regional office has reported 1,102 dengue cases that were admitted to different hospitals in Western Visayas as of July 7 this year. The figure is higher by 180 percent compared to last year’s 304 cases reported in the same period.


Negros Occidental accounts for most of the cases with 670, followed by Iloilo with 389 cases. Fifteen dengue-related deaths have been reported in Western Visayas as of July 7.


Lagdameo issued a circular last Thursday enjoining all parish priests in the city to join the campaign against the spread of the dreaded disease through sermons and allocutions.


The parishes will help in cleaning the surroundings by organizing the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and the village-PPC, said Lagdameo.


The prelate also directed the parishes to coordinate with the health and villages officials to address the disease in support of the campaign of the city government.


“As we are concerned with the spiritual health of our people, so must we also be with their physical health,” said Lagdameo in his circular.


Dengue, a viral disease that usually occurs during rainy season, is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. These mosquitoes are considered “day biters” with two peaks of biting activities, one at sunrise and another before sunset.


Health agencies have advised the public to remove or destroy breeding grounds of these mosquitoes to prevent or minimize infection. The measures include disposing of containers that could store water like tin cans, empty bottles, used tires and other containers.


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