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Gov’t grapples against double trouble

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While the government is still trying to contain the measles outbreak in the country, the reported spike in dengue cases in various areas has sent health officials scampering to find solutions to the twin problems.

Confinements due to measles complicated by meningitis, however, are compensated at P25,700

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said the recent rains in some parts of the country may have caused the rise in dengue cases.

It was gathered that in Central Visayas, there have been 2,132 dengue cases so far this year, with 18 fatalities.

“This is very unusual for this time of the year. The changes in climate are making dengue a year-long problem, it used to be that the strain only occurs during the rainy season” he said.

The increase in dengue cases happened just as the health department is monitoring measles outbreaks in different parts of the country.

Nationwide, there have been 4,300 measles cases as of Sunday night, with 70 confirmed deaths.

In as much as the public is yet to get over the Dengvaxia controversy and the subsequent scare that it generated before it being totally banned, Domingo pointed to “vector control” as the best protection the public can have against dengue.

“You just have to stop the mosquito from spreading. Every time it rains, every family should take care, make sure all of the water reservoirs are drained, that no clean water is there for the mosquito to start multiplying and spreading the disease,” he said.

Domingo lamented that if dengue also becomes an outbreak, they will be forced to do fogging even as early detection and treatment could help prevent a child from becoming a victim.

He also advised parents to immediately bring the child to the doctor once they notice the symptoms of the virus.

This, as the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on Monday announced that confinements due to measles are covered under its health package benefits and programs.

PhilHealth coverage for measles ranges from P7,700 to P25,700, with uncomplicated cases being paid at P7,700 while pneumonia in measles at P15,000.

Confinements due to measles complicated by meningitis, however, are compensated at P25,700.

The state health insurer declared that even non-members can also avail themselves of PhilHealth benefits when needing confinement due to complications of measles.

PhilHealth acting president Dr. Roy B. Ferrer, said patients with no active coverage can avail of their benefits through the point of service program where they are instantly afforded with health insurance.

The privilege is extended to those found to be financially incapable by the hospital’s social worker, in which the government will pay for premiums of a one-year PhilHealth coverage effective at the time they availed of the program.

With Francis Earl Cueto

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