Laos: Medics reveal next year’s dengue prevention plan

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The Communicable Disease Control Department of the Ministry of Health has already set up a plan to combat dengue fever next year, calling for more than 34 billion kip to keep the virus at bay.

The Communicable Disease Control Department of the Ministry of Health has already set up a plan to combat dengue fever next year, calling for more than 34 billion kip to keep the virus at bay.

Deputy Director General of the department, Dr. Lattanaxay Phetsouvanh spoke at the national dengue control workshop last week in Vientiane, saying that the money will support the Ministry of Health to drive the dengue prevention and control plan more effectively.

The money is expected to support the coordination activities among involved health sector personnel including surveillance and laboratory work; dengue mosquito breeding site eradication; interrogation and epidemic response; dengue case management; health education and emergency budget.

Dr. Lattanaxay said that the main strategy is to accelerate and improve dengue case management in line with the national treatment measures. In addition, the ministry will strengthen dengue laboratory testing.

“The community will be encouraged to follow the recommended preventive measures by destroying breeding sources of mosquitoes and making sure that household environments are clean,” he pointed out. Laos has already spent some 7.3 billion kip for dengue control in 2014, funded through the government, international organizations and the Asian Development Bank.

Dr. Lattanaxay said that the Ministry of Health will seek out both regular and emergency financial sources to the tune of 26.8 billion kip from domestic and international donors for prevention efforts next year. This year, the government raised funds from domestic and international donors to fight against the outbreak of dengue from June to October, receiving more than 4.8 billion kip from international donors.

The government also approved 16.3 billion kip in regular and emergency budget funding to combat the virus.

To date this year, there have been about 44,000 cases of dengue reported, including 95 fatalities. This is more than twice the number of cases and deaths reported in 2010, the year when the last large dengue outbreak occurred in Laos.

Dengue cases have been reported in all 17 provinces of the country with 15 provinces reportedly experiencing epidemic levels.

However dengue peaked two months before normal this year which implies that the control efforts substantially reduced the number of dengue cases and fatalities.

Surveillance has shown that since mid-October, dengue activity has returned to normal levels.

(Source: Vientiane Times 24 Dec 2013)