EU to provide €100-K aid for dengue patients

The European Union (EU) on Friday said it will provide €100,000 in humanitarian aid funding to assist communities most affected by the dengue outbreak in the country.

The aid will benefit 300,000 people in some of the hardest-hit areas in the regions of Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Metropolitan Manila, and Western Visayas.

In a statement, the EU said the funding would support the Philippine Red Cross in delivering crucial assistance through the strengthening of public health services, such as the establishment of dengue emergency medical units or hospital extension wards at local government hospitals, and the provision of nursing staff to respond to overwhelming dengue cases.

“In addition, water sources, which can be mosquito breeding grounds, will be cleaned and treated with a biological control agent to eliminate mosquito larvae. The funding also focuses on enhancing public awareness through health promotion activities and information dissemination to prevent and reduce new cases,” the EU said.

According to the latest data from the Department of Health (DOH), close to 116 000 cases, including 491 deaths, have been reported during the first six months of 2019.

This marks an increase of 86 percent compared to the same period last year, when 57, 564 cases were reported. The DOH declared a national dengue alert on July 15.

The DOH said the Central and Western Visayas with nearly 16,000 cases recorded has been the worst-hit area.

The funding is also part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The EU, together with its member states, is the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid, using relief assistance as an expression of European solidarity toward people in need around the world.

It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.

Through its European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the European Union helps over 120 million victims of conflicts and disasters every year. PNA