KHÁNH HÒA – Ministry of Health officials are inspecting dengue fever prevention activities in the central Khánh Hòa Province, one of 18 areas in the country hit by the epidemic.
The ministry reported the rocketing number of dengue fever infections had overloaded hospitals in four Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) and central coastal provinces over the last few weeks.
One of the main reasons for the rapid spread of the mosquito-borne disease is the negligence of local authorities and people in managing disease prevention initiatives.
The lack of vaccines or specific treatment drugs for dengue is also hindering disease prevention activities across all localities.
The latest statistics from the ministry show that Việt Nam has so far this year recorded 49,049 cases of dengue fever across the country. There have been a total of 17 deaths – a threefold increase against the same period last year.
HCM City has seen an increase in dengue cases in recent months, with 875 cases in July, while 616 and 525 cases were recorded in May and June respectively.
Tiền Giang Province’s authorities are focusing on tackling areas that have seen dengue fever outbreaks, and the Mekong Delta province is facing the rapid onset of the disease.
Lê Đăng Ngân, deputy director of Tiền Giang Preventive Medicine Centre, said they had urged the residents to remove containers of stagnant water in their homes, which were ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and had monitored the environmental clean-up efforts.
Trần Đắc Phu, director of the ministry’s Preventive Health Department, said the reason for the increase in dengue cases this year was the community’s low immunity to dengue.
Health experts said the spread of dengue fever this year would peak in September and October.
The dengue fever epidemic is likely to worsen in 2018, experts have warned, because of the cyclical nature of the disease, which reappears every 10 years. Southern and Tây Nguyên provinces are the worst hit areas. – VNS
HCM City uses GIS software for dengue fever surveillance
HCM CITY – The HCM City Department of Health is using a geographical information system (GIS) for surveillance of dengue fever in ward- and commune-level health centres in the city.
Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, the department’s deputy head, told Pháp Luật (Law) Newspaper that software was now being used at 16 health centres in districts 8, Tân Phú, and Thủ Đức.
The city aims to have all wards and communes using the software by the end of the year.
Dr Lê Thị Hồng Nga, head of the city’s Preventive Health Centre’s general planning division, said that local authorities and agencies had identified the most vulnerable sites for dengue fever to break out in the city.
Hospitals send data on the age and addresses of patients to the city, which is then entered into GIS software and sent to grassroots-level health centres.
Different colours on a map indicate the severity of their infection and the location of patients with dengue fever.
As of August 8, the city had recorded 9,301 patients with dengue fever, up 54 per cent compared to the same period last year. Two people have died. – VNS
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