MANILA, Feb. 6, 2016— The Church’s health ministry has joined efforts in raising public awareness about the Zika virus and ways to prevent its spread in the country.
Camillian Fr. Dan Cancino, executive secretary of the CBCP Commission on Healthcare, said they have started the work with people living in mosquito-prone areas.
“We started it (awareness drive) in areas vulnerable to Zika virus. These are actually the same population that are vulnerable to dengue,” Cancino told Radio Veritas.
Local health officials are bracing for a likely outbreak of the virus as the mosquito-borne disease spreads to more countries.
The Health department on Wednesday said the country was still free from the virus and assured it can handle cases of Zika virus.
Cancino urged the government to adopt a more aggressive approach to thwarting an outbreak that is widespread in the Americas.
“Our appeal to the Department of Health is to [widen] awareness on the Zika virus. Although this is something new, there are still many people who are not aware of it,” he said.
While there is no specific treatment or vaccine to prevent Zika virus, health officials said prevention is still the key which should start from everyone’s backyard.
The priest said it all boils down to controlling mosquito populations and eliminating places where they lay eggs like water containers in and around the house. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)