Dengue fever deaths rise in first nine months
HCM CITY (VNS)— The number of fatalities due to dengue fever increased by nearly 21 per cent in the first nine months of the year against the same period last year, according to the General Department of Preventive Medicine.
Speaking at an international workshop on dengue-fever prevention in HCM City yesterday, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long noted that urbanisation and climate change were contributing to the rise in number of cases.
"Many people continue to store water in their homes in uncovered jars, which attracts mosquitoes," Long said.
Long said they had been told to place guppy fish in the jars to destroy mosquito larvae.
He added that more campaigns were needed to raise people's awareness, and that People's Committees at all levels should take the initiative to allocate funds for dengue-fever prevention.
Tran Thanh Duong, deputy head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine, said that increasing urbanisation, water-storage habits of local people, budget and trained health worker shortages were all adding to the risk of further dengue-fever outbreaks.
The key tasks of the national programme for dengue control include improving surveillance systems and capacity of health workers; increasing the number and size of community-based dengue-control programmes; and an insecticide-use management programme.
Tran Cong Dai of the World Health Organisation's office in Viet Nam said the vaccine would be available in the next two to four years.
Future plans and strategies, he added, should include vaccine introduction and use; integration of vaccines with other tools for dengue-prevention and control; and investment in surveillance systems and monitoring of vaccine safety. — VNS