DOH activates express lanes for dengue cases in hospitals nationwide

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Sept. 28 (PNA) — The Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday it has ordered the activation of dengue express lanes in all government hospitals nationwide to help hasten the facilitation of suspected and confirmed dengue cases.

Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy, DOH spokesperson, said the express lanes will help separate dengue cases from other medical conditions that have to be managed by the medical facilities.

In a media interview, he explained that the revival of express lanes in government hospitals and its health facilities in diagnosing dengue patients is a “regular” program and not a new concept which is being done during times when there is an expected rise of suspected dengue cases.

“This (referring to the revival of the dengue express lanes) is not something new. Even before, there were express lanes activated during the season when there was expected rise in cases of dengue which needed abrupt diagnosis and treatment to prevent patients from waiting too long before they could be diagnosed and treated,” Dr. Lee-Suy said.

He further clarified that the measure should not be misunderstood and magnified as being revived in government hospitals and its health facilities to create an impression that the number of dengue cases is really soaring or reaching an alarming state but rather as a way for “quick” diagnosis of possible dengue cases as well as other deadly diseases.

The DOH spokesperson said that such express lanes are usually placed in areas near the emergency rooms to facilitate the consultation and conduct of laboratory examinations for faster and accurate findings on the suspected dengue cases and to distinguish which patients are manifesting symptoms of dengue or not.

He cited that based on the observations and analysis of dengue cases, the usual rise occurs during the frequent rains brought by the southwest monsoon or tropical cyclones passing through the Philippines.

He noted that it is good that the public is also becoming aware of the existence of express lanes that they can turn to in times that they have to deal with suspected dengue cases.

He further said that in a way the, express lane can also serve its purpose of keeping the people aware of dengue prevention, especially in times that the “El Nino” phenomenon can create its strong impact.

He said that since the tendency of the people prior to the “El Nino” occurrence is to store water, it is possible that the stored water, if not properly covered, can be a contributing factor to the rise in dengue cases because such stored water can be possible breeding site of mosquitoes that are carriers of dengue.

He said that with the people knowing about the express lanes, they can also promote at the same time the boosting of awareness of how the people in the community can participate in the fight versus dengue and make the necessary preparation and positive change of behavior in dealing with the threats of dengue.

“It is good that we have this so that the campaign can be continuously carried out as we face the threat of El Nino phenomenon,“ he added.

Based on the latest records of the DOH, there was a total of 78,808 dengue cases from Jan. 1 to Sept. 5, 2015. This was actually higher by 16.2 percent compared with 67,637 cases for the same period of last year.

“But then, that 16.2 percent rise is very much lower if you will compare it with the figure for the same period in 2013,” Dr. Lee-Suy added.

There was a total of 117,658 dengue cases in 2013 which, if compared with the figure for this year, translated to a decline of more than 40 percent.

Meanwhile, it was learned that the provincial government of Cavite has declared a state of calamity after it recorded a total of 3,904 cases of dengue with 16 fatalities from January to Sept. 12. (PNA)