The Ministry of Health has advised people throughout the country to clear out any potential mosquito breeding sites before the onset of the wet season.
The warning comes this week after cases of dengue fever surfaced in some of the southern provinces. Minister of Health Professor Dr Eksavang Vongvichit said weather conditions this year could lead to a widespread dengue outbreak if measures were not put in place to control the virus. To prevent and contain the disease, Prof. Dr Eksavang has advised government and private sectors, especially health departments around the country, to step up publicity campaigns to prevent the spread of the virus.
The minister has advised health workers to educate individuals and communities so that they understand the danger of the disease and take active steps to prevent it.
In addition, health departments should encourage related organisations to campaign on the virus and raise awareness of preventive measures in districts and dispensaries. Kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools are all advised to clear out any stagnant water that could harbour mosquito larvae, on a weekly basis.
In addition, improvement of the diagnosis and treatment of dengue at provincial and district hospitals and dispensaries is necessary to prevent unavoidable deaths from the virus. edical staff are advised to recheck medicines and medical equipment used in the treatment of the virus in case there is an outbreak in their area.
According to the World Health Organisation, dengue is one of the fastest emerging infections in the world as it is currently the most rapidly spreading viral disease known. The number of cases in the Western Pacific Region has more than doubled over the past 10 years.
In particular, the Asia Pacific bears 75 percent of the current global dengue disease burden and accounts for more than 70 percent of the estimated 2.5 billion people at risk globally.
The disease has now expanded to new geographical areas that were previously unaffected and this trend is predicted to continue. There is also no specific treatment or vaccine available to prevent death. The spread of dengue is expected to have a large impact on public health, economies and societies.
published with the permission of Vientiane Times