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PARENTS AWARENESS ABOUT DENGUE

Researcher: Jake N. Fabian

INTRODUCTION

Dengue Fever (DF) and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) are endemic in the Philippines.  The biggest recorded epidemic in the Philippines occurred in 1996 in Metro Manila with a morbidity rate of 28 / 100,000 and a mortality rate of 0.7/100,000. DHF cases are increasing with the average 5 Рyear morbidity in 1979 to 1983. 1984 to 1988 and 1989 to 1993 were 1.54/100,000, 3.85/100,000 and 12.12/100,000, respectively. In 1998, nearly 32,000 cases and 500 deaths were reported from all regions, the over-all case fatality rate was 2%.

Dengue is the most important arthropod-borne viral disease of public health significance. Its geographic distribution includes more than 100 countries worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 2.5 Billion people are at risk of dengue infection. As per estimate, over 50 million infections with about 400,000 cases of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) are reported annually which is a leading cause of childhood mortality in several Asian countries. Affecting mostly children, the case fatality rates range from less than 1% to 10%.

According to the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) – Department of Health (DOH), 3,771 cases of Dengue Fever has been reported since April 2005. The country has reached its epidemic threshold in January and February this year.

Since 1998, as part of the national government’s thrust to control Dengue epidemics, DOH has initiated Community clean-up operations. Public information campaigns have been launched. Most notable of the government’s aggressive campaign is the launching of the “Four o’clock Habit” which mobilizes the communities and schools to clean their environment every 4:00 PM.

But despite these initiatives by the Philippine government, Dengue remains to be an important cause of pediatric admission. Much needs to be done in finding effective strategies for behavior change of the community toward dengue. Since prevention and early recognition are important in decreasing morbidity and mortality, the knowledge, attitude and practices of parents are important factors to be evaluated.

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