Cong. Jocelyn S. Limkaichong (1st District, Negros Oriental) expressed her sense of admiration and gratefulness to Malaysian Prince Tunku Naquiyuddin Ja’afar and his efforts of bringing his global anti-dengue drive in the country.
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 — the company which developed a non-toxic larvicide solution, an anti-dengue drug — and Renew Philippines, the local partner of the Prince’s foundation in the implementation of this program.
Rep. Limkaichong believes this campaign 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. She said: “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.”
“We can halt the spread of this disease and spare our people — and our government — from unnecessary costs and burdens due to hospitalizations and deaths. To start with, as ASec. [Dr. Eric] Tayag would say, dengue is only here because we allowed it to be here.”
“Thus, central in this fight are our LGUs 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!”
“Hence, I’m calling upon everyone to join hands and intensify our information and 4S drive to stop this deadly disease from wreaking havoc upon our people.”
The 4S Kontra Dengue Strategy is composed of (1) Search and destroy, (2) Seek early consultation, (3) Self-protective measures and (4) Say “No” to indiscriminate fogging.
The Congresswoman also emphasized 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].”
Rep. Limkaichong has a deep understanding of this link that is why, she worked hard in last month’s marathon budget hearings and helped ensure that the government allocate a huge chunk of our national budget for the health sector. She shared that the 2012 budget for health has increased by 21% from its 2011 allocation, and that this administration is girding towards universal health coverage for all Filipinos.
The Congresswoman last month sponsored and defended the Department of Health budget in the Congress. She is also the Senior Vice Chairperson of the powerful 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.