HCM CITY — The number of dengue fever cases is expected to increase in the next few months if prevention efforts are not strengthened at the local level, according to the steering board on dengue-fever prevention.
At a meeting yesterday in HCM City, Tran Thanh Duong, head of the board, said the number of cases nationwide in the first seven months of the year was 40,000, a rise of 35 per cent compared to the same period last year. Twenty-six people died.
The number of patients with dengue fever in the southern, central and Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) regions increased, but the northern region saw a decline of 41 per cent.
Of the 40,000 patients with dengue fever, patients under the age of 15 accounted for more than 54 per cent.
Duong said that many people were aware of the dangers of dengue fever but were not destroying mosquitoes and larvae.
He asked provinces and cities to develop campaigns that would encourage people to take preventive measures to control outbreaks of dengue fever.
Dr Nguyen Trung Nghia, deputy head of the Health Department in Can Tho City, said the department had worked with the education and training department to train teachers and students in preventive methods.
During the summer holiday, students were taught how to destroy mosquitoes and clear residential areas to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
The Health Department staff also visited families to offer instruction in prevention techniques.
At the meeting yesterday, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien asked authorities and organisations to join the disease-prevention endeavour.
Duong asked provinces and cities to allocate more capital for dengue-fever prevention measures.
Preventive medicine centres in provinces and cities were told to draw up a detailed plan to reduce the number of patients with dengue fever.
Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, head of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said the number of adults with dengue fever had increased recently, accounting for nearly 50 per cent of the total number nationwide.
Doctors and nurses working in infectious-disease wards and emergency rooms for adults, as well as private hospitals, also need to be trained in treatment methods outlined by the Health Ministry. — VNS