Monday, November 07, 2011

[Vital Signs Column] Of Dengue and Nursing

Issue 6 Vol. 1 |  September 1-15, 2011 Issue
Vital Signs, is the FIRST newspaper for the medical community. It caters to doctors, health workers and other healthcare professionals, bringing them the latest health news, scientific updates, as well as opinions, and commentaries on current issues impacting healthcare delivery in the country. You can read Alvin Dakis' columns on nursing & social issues in every Vital Signs newspaper published every 1st & 15th of the month. 

Dengue is a seasonal disease in the country which happens during the rainy season. But it seems that there are still a lot of things to be done to have a 'dengue-free' country. This year, some dengue hotspots still made it to the top list, some even went double. Where did we go wrong? And what do we lack?

Every year we lose many lives of our fellowmen because of this disease and even though we have lower cases this year, we still got thousands of fellowmen dying from something we can do something about. From January 1 to August 6 of this year, DOH have reported more than 45,000 with 34,652 in Luzon, 5,091 in Visayas and 5,590 in Mindanao. From the data last year, we have around 33.5% lower on dengue cases. 

However, according to the report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council or NDRRMC, some other parts of the country experienced a spiking increase in cases such as the Ilocos Region. Moreover, the National Capital Region also had an increase of 1,258 new dengue cases from July 23-August 06. And in comparison from 2010 data, Metro Manila increased a half more in 2011.

I had my first dengue when I was in college. I didn't know that it was dengue for I thought it was just a serious case of fever. I was confined for more than a week because the doctors kept ruling out for other diseases like typhoid fever. I was being tested and days passed by without me knowing what's happening. I could just imagine what others have to go through.

Looking closely to many of the cases of dengue in the country and where there are outbreaks, these are from the impoverished communities and where health services are hard to access. The Department of Health needs to work more on prevention strategies and educate people how to avoid the disease. This phenomenon is seasonal and can be altered by preventing it to re-occur so that we can see a steady decline of new cases happening every year.

As nurses, it is very vital for us to know the scope of our practice in preventive healthcare. Our health teachings to the communities matter so much since many of the people suffering from this disease are from the communities with little to no health information. Our continued primary & preventive healthcare approaches should be maximized matched with an active & meaningful community participation. 

It is also important for us to take notice how people in the community takes care of their environment. Proper maintenance of water reservoirs and having a cleaner environment decreases risks of contracting dengue. But these knowledge need to be reinforced to the people. That is why I am urging the government to employ more nurses to serve the localities especially the more underserved areas.

Congrats to New Nurses

I would like to congratulate the recent 37,513 passers of the Nursing Licensure Exams out of the 78,135 takers. I congratulate the recent passers and welcomes you all to the nursing profession but I also take concern on the increasing number of unemployment & underemployment within our ranks. Still, with great hope & enthusiasm, I urge the government and all stakeholders to work together to help us achieve a better healthcare through the protection of our health professionals.


No comments:

Post a Comment