EU provides aid to fight dengue in Philippines; 561 dead from disease

From Jan 1 to July 13, the Philippines' Department of Health recorded a total of 130,463 cases of dengue infection, nearly double the number of incidents during the corresponding period last year.
From Jan 1 to July 13, the Philippines' Department of Health recorded a total of 130,463 cases of dengue infection, nearly double the number of incidents during the corresponding period last year.PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (DPA) - The European Union said Friday (Aug 2) it was providing 100,000 euros (S$153,000) in humanitarian aid for communities most affected by a dengue outbreak in the Philippines, where more than 560 people have died from the illness.

The funding would support the Philippine Red Cross in delivering "crucial assistance ... such as the establishment of dengue emergency medial units or hospital extension wards in 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 EU said in a statement.

The assistance would benefit 300,000 people in the hardest-hit areas in the five regions, including the capital region of metropolitan Manila, it added.

In July, the Philippines' Department of Health declared a national dengue alert following a sharp increase in the number of cases, in a bid to step up surveillance and heightened implementation of strategies to combat the disease.

From Jan 1 to July 13, the department recorded a total of 130,463 cases of dengue infection, nearly double the number of incidents during the corresponding period last year.

In the same seven-month period of 2019, 561 deaths were recorded, up from 367 during that period in 2018.