|Since 2005, the mosquito-borne disease has become one of the world's most important public health problems, reaching 50 to 100 million cases per year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). — Ilustrative image/ Photo voh
HCM CITY (VNS) — The Ministry of Health called on people to help the country prevent the spread of dengue fever.
At a national meeting held in response to HCM City's ASEAN Dengue Day yesterday, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long urged citizens to spend 10 minutes checking every water container they owned and destroying all mosquito larvae they found.
This small task would help keep them and those around them healthy, Long said. He also urged people to allow the health sector to spray chemicals to destroy mosquito larvae.
As there is no cure or vaccine for dengue fever, these preventative measures would be Viet Nam's best defense against the illness, he added.
The world had seen a rapid increase in cases of dengue fever, Long said. More than 3.9 billion people, accounting for more than 40 per cent of the global population, were at risk of contracting it.
Since 2005, the mosquito-borne disease has become one of the world's most important public health problems, reaching 50 to 100 million cases per year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Although less people in Viet Nam had died from dengue fever in recent years, the risk of an outbreak was still high due to climate change and urbanisation, Long said.
Southern Viet Nam has seen the most cases – 85 per cent of the country's total.
ASEAN Dengue Day is an advocacy event created during the 10th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting in 2010.
At the meeting, HCM City's Pasteur Institute and Sanofi Pasteur launched a short-film contest with the aim of encouraging people to join the fight against dengue.
The Government will also post dengue fever prevention information on the sides of buses.
After the meeting, cars looking to spread awareness about dengue will travel from HCM City to the provinces and cities most at risk: Vinh Long, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Khanh Hoa, Da Nang, and Dak Lak and Can Tho.
Viet Nam had a total of 10,000 cases of dengue fever, with 10 people dying from the virus, since January 1, according to Tran Dac Phu, head of the Preventive Medicine Administration.
In HCM City, there were 4,199 cases discovered by the end of May, an increase of 27 per cent year-on-year. Of that number, two people died.
Dengue fever spreads more easily during the rainy season. — VNS