Medical staff attend to a dengue patient.
Health authorities redoubling efforts to limit dengue fever outbreak
Health officials and medical staff at hospitals across the country, including the capital, are endeavouring to combat the increasing number of dengue fever cases this year.
Many hospitals in the capital have converted corridors and meeting rooms into wards due to a lack of space to treat patients, and some facilities have even requested additional beds from the public to handle the growing number of dengue patients.
As of July 3, a total of 10,778 people had been diagnosed with dengue fever nationwide, and 25 have died, according to a report by the Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control Department.
Deputy Director General of Setthathirath Hospital, Dr Khamla Choumlivong told Lao media yesterday health authorities acknowledged that the dengue fever outbreak is higher this year and increased numbers of patients were receiving treatment for the potentially fatal virus.
“Health authorities have admitted their concerns about the higher rate of dengue fever cases this year and Laos still faces challenges in preventing the disease,” she said.
The mosquitoes responsible for transmission are the Aedesaegypti and Aedesalbopictus species.
The Ministry of Health, under orders of Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, recently called on health officials and local authorities across the country to closely monitor their areas in the fight against dengue, hoping to reduce the number of cases, according to the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology.
Authorities are urging people to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help curb the spread of the virus. These activities are focused on long-term prevention rather than solely treatment and are vital to combating the disease.
In particular, local communities need to keep their surroundings clean while focusing on killing mosquitoes and their larva inside and near these areas. Authorities have been raising public awareness as one of the main strategies to reduce the risk of dengue transmission.
Every family should throw out any water that collects in jars, vases, and dishes and should cover such vessels to prevent more water from filling them again.
Schools, hospitals, factories, hotels, restaurants, tourist facilities, and offices should organise cleaning activities to remove any sources of stagnant water to slow mosquito breeding.
Village heads, associations, charities, and monks are also crucial in the battle against dengue fever.
By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update July 5, 2019)