REPRESENTATIVE Jocelyn S. Limkaichong (1st district, Negros Oriental) admired Malaysian Prince Tunku Naquiyuddin Ja’afar for bringing his global anti-dengue drive in the Philippines.
Prince Tunku Naquiyuddin Ja’afar, son of the 10th King of Malaysia Tuanku Ja’afar, was in the country to launch his CounterStrike Lamok campaign in partnership with EntoGenex and Renew Philippines.
EntoGenex is the company that developed a non-toxic anti-dengue drug larvicide solution, while Renew Philippines is the local partner of the Prince’s foundation in the implementation of the program.
Limkaichong believed the campaign against dengue will further raise the bar of public awareness on the disease and instigate the government, businesses, and communities to address the disease with a sense of urgency.
“His Highness’ campaign should ring a louder alarm to our local and National Governments. This should send them a strong message that we have to forge our efforts and act now,” she said.
The lawmaker urged the public to join hands and follow the 4S drive to stop dengue.
The 4S Kontra Dengue Strategy includes (1) Search and destroy, (2) Seek early consultation, (3) Self-protective measures and (4) Say “No” to indiscriminate fogging.
“Thus, central in this fight are our LGUs (local government units) and our people in the communities. They should make sure that we annihilate our enemy right in their breeding grounds – in empty softdrink bottles, bamboo husks, old tires, and flower vases. If we let even one larva to live and become mosquito today, wait after a month and it will multiply to as many as one million mosquitoes,” Limkaichong said.
The lawmaker also stressed the importance of allocating sufficient budget on the health sector, pointing out the link between health spending, poverty and mortality rate from the disease.
“Everyone regardless of economic status is susceptible to this disease. But it is our poor constituents who are hurt the most [because] they’re the ones who usually avail our medical services from our health centers and public hospitals. Being uninsured [in PhilHealth] makes them hesitant to seek early medical intervention; if we have low hospital budget, our administrators would be hindered from hiring more doctors and nurses, and upgrading their facilities, thus the poor case management, detection rate, and provision of over-all services. This dire situation contributes to high mortality rate [among dengue victims,” she said.
Limkaichong in September sponsored and defended the Department of Health budget in the Congress. She is also the senior vice chairperson of the Committee on Appropriations, and was a member of the five-man “small committee” which gathered all the proposed amendments in the budget for its approval on third and final reading.
Limkaichong said that the 2012 budget for health has increased by 21 percent from its 2011 allocation, and that this administration is girding towards universal health coverage for all Filipinos. (PR)