|Health workers spray mosquito repellent in Ha Noi's Truong Dinh Ward. The Ministry of Health has urged people to discard things that collected rainwater to curb mosquito breeding. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HCM CITY (VNS) — Discarded coconut shells and flowerpots in the garden in front as well as the backyard of Tran Van Tho's house in Binh Duong Province's An Phu Ward contained a lot of mosquito larvae after rains in the previous two days.
Local health officials who were visiting his house to destroy mosquitoes also saw a tank for collecting rainwater filled with larvae.
They were there because Tho's six-year-old grandson had contracted dengue fever a month ago. But clearly the family had not learnt any lessons.
In the neighbourhood, mosquitoes also buzzed around Tran Thi Ba's front yard where there were a lot of coconut shells and other discarded stuff, which provide an ideal breeding ground for the insects.
"It rained for the last two days and I did not clear things in time," she said.
"I am worried that my grandchildren could contract dengue."
Tran Bach Yen, deputy chairwoman of the ward People's Committee, said the incidence of dengue fever was up 34 per cent compared to last year.
One child has died, she added.
Tu Tan Thu, head of the Binh Duong Province health department's medical affairs division, said this year the province has seen 2,803 cases, a 72 per cent increase year-on-year.
Eight people have died due to the disease, all in the urban areas of Di An, Thu Dau Mot, Ben Cat, and Di An, which have 28 industrial parks with more than one million workers.
Tran Dac Phu, head of the Department of Preventive Health, said Binh Duong is one of four provinces besides HCM City with the highest incidence of dengue in the southern region.
Inspectors have found mosquito larvae in discarded things in many people's yards and gardens, he said.
He called on the public to clear discarded things at least once a week.
"This is the best way to protect themselves and their children."
The dengue epidemic would continue to until December in the southern and central regions, he said.
The Ministry of Health last Friday launched a campaign in the province to destroy larvae to reduce the incidence of dengue and deaths.
It shows people how to efficiently destroy larvae and has released fish in rainwater containers.
Other southern provinces and cities are set to take up the campaign.
Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the dengue fever season is reaching its peak, and two more campaigns are planned.
According to a report by the preventive health department, 54 of the country's 63 provinces and cities have reported 46,989 cases of dengue this year, 15,141 more than last year, which was a trough in the disease's regular three-to-five-year cycles.
Thirty people have died this year, 10 more than last.
Nguyen Trong Khoa, deputy head of Examination and Treatment Department, said 100-200 inpatients were treated at HCM City and Ha Noi paediatrics hopitals and the tropical diseases hospitals on October 15. — VNS