Press Release
October 15, 2016

Hontiveros visits Zika epicenter, pushes barangay-led prevention measures

ILOILO CITY - In Barangay Benedicto, Iloilo City where four cases of Zika virus have been reported, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros' visit on Saturday served as a positive challenge to push for barangay-led prevention measures.

"Sa barangay nangyari, sa barangay ang solusyon", urged Hontiveros. In a meeting with local leaders and residents, the neophyte Senator explained that the frontline of health systems is at the barangay level and should be harnessed in matters of public health.

Yesterday, the Department of Health also reported Zika cases in Makati and Mandaluyong. These bring the number of Zika cases in the Philippines to 17. The senator urged the public to stay calm and asked the government to heighten its response.

"The best response to the Zika virus is education and prevention. We must strengthen our information, detection and monitoring drive to prevent the further spread of the disease, and to provide immediate care to those infected with the virus," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also distributed in Iloilo City 'anti-Zika packets' that contained commodities against mosquito-borne infections like Zika. The packets included mosquito nets, education materials and others.

The Akbayan Senator said the activity is part of the health promotion and disease prevention strategies that she wants all barangay health units to implement to reduce the public's risk of contracting the virus.

"Coming here is a gesture: the message is that fear should not cloud our action towards preventing the spread of Zika", Hontiveros said.

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