By: Jennifer P. Rendon and Glazyl Y. Masculino
THE Philippine Army’s capability goes beyond fighting insurgency. It also includes transcends search and rescue operation.
Recently, Manila–based Army General Hospital (AGH), in partnership with the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division’s Camp Peralta Station Hospital (CPHS), extended help in the fight against dengue by deploying medical personnel in Iloilo City.
The deployment came after the Department of Health declared a national dengue epidemic last week.
Based on the DOH Dengue Surveillance Report last week, Region VI (Western Visayas) had the most number of cases at 23,330, followed by Region IV-A (CALABARZON) with 16,515, Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) with 12,317, Region X (Northern Mindanao) with 11,455, and Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN) with 11,083 cases.
Major General Dinoh Dolina, 3ID commander, said seven Army medical personnel were deployed to Iloilo City Hydration Unit in La Paz district on August 12 to augment the city’s effort in fighting the mosquito-borne disease. Of the 7 medical personnel, four were from AGH and 3 are from 3ID.
“Our medical personnel are ready to extend free medical assistance, specifically in assisting and consulting dengue patients. This medical service is part of our non-traditional role to serve the people especially in situations like this where convergence of efforts is necessary to stop the dengue outbreak,” Dolina said.
Together with Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, Dolina visited the Iloilo City Hydration Unit on August 13 to ensure that the Army and the local government are in unison to contain the dengue virus from further spreading, as well as minimize the damage it has brought to those patients suffering from dengue.
Prior to this, the 3ID also lent 68 folding beds to Iloilo City government to be utilized by dengue patients, some of whom had to be treated at hospital hallways.
Aside from medical assistance and material resources, the 61st Infantry (Hunter) Battalion has been actively partaking in series of clean-up drives dubbed “Brigada Kontra Dengue” to help maintain a dengue-free environment, and blood-letting activities to ensure adequate supply of blood available for those in need.
Last week, Dolina also declared that it would mobilize its Panay-based unit to commit their human and material resources to help the community in fighting dengue.
The 3ID initially sent its military nurses from Camp Peralta Station Hospital on a rotational basis to Bailan District Hospital in Pontevedra, Capiz following the latter’s request for medical assistance due to increasing number of dengue cases.
Dolina said the 3ID has standby medical team ready for dispatch if some other hospitals need assistance.