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Thursday, September 27, 2012

How Comics Fight Dengue in the Philippines!

09.27.2012 – The komiks culture in the Philippines is in abundance with talent and anything that’s being launched in annual conventions like Komikon which has expanded to three events this year. From independent to the longest running comic strip that appears in broadsheets or respected newspapers it has been part of the popular culture in the country.

Using comic books as an educational tool is not far fetch a great idea to get the word out just like what the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) is doing to help the local community in fighting a virus such as Dengue fever.

It’s known as breakbone fever, is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

That’s how the virus is explained in Wikipedia which is the most current outbreak that has been reported frequently in the local news in the past months. This similar news has reached Bleeding Cool which Rich Johnson has shared to his readers.

The campaign was launched sometime in July 27, 2012 by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in cooperation with the Technology Information Institute (STII) and collaboration with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) launched the anti-dengue comics using the mother tongue in Eastern Visayas.

Aristotle P. Carandang of DOST-STII spoke about the OL Trap comic that was written in Filipino and in various dialects including Ilocano, Pampango, Bicol, Waray-waray, Hiligaynon, and Cebuano were distributed to the regions to raise the knowledge and awareness of community folks on dengue and the OL Trap.

The dissemination in educating the local community through the OL Trap comic book would definitely benefit in reducing the dengue cases in the country. Mr. Carandang said that it will also be launched in identified towns in Bacolod after its release of the comics in Easter Visayas which also simultaneously launched in Davao City during the Mindanao S & T celebration.

Based in their surveys and graph showing the gradual decline in dengue cases in educating the public through anti-dengue comics definitely help the community. Globally health organizations have used comics as an educational tool to help and inform the community.

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