Working groups from the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration and the Ministry of Health have sprayed mosquito insecticide in 105 communes across the capital as part of the aedes aegypti eradication campaign to eliminate dengue fever.

As of the first six weeks of the year, 1,000 dengue cases had been reported in Phnom Penh alone.

In a February 24 social media post, Prime Minister Hun Manet said the promotion of the public’s health and well-being is the government’s top priority.

“The City Hall has implemented the aedes aegypti eradication campaign to eliminate dengue fever across Phnom Penh as dengue fever appears to be spreading,” he said.

The municipal administration announced that because dengue fever cases have been increasing at an alarming rate, governor Khuong Sreng convened a meeting last week to introduce measures to reduce its spread. In attendance were health officials and the capital’s 14 district governors.

“We decided to spray insecticide and distribute the anti-dengue larvicide Abate,” said Sreng.

He urged the authorities in the 14 districts to inspect all locations within their jurisdictions where mosquitoes could breed, and take action to eliminate the insects.

The governor instructed the municipal health department to spray insecticide in five districts in the first week, and then ensure all 105 communes are treated.

“The health department has an important role to play. It needs to do everything possible to prevent an increase in dengue fever cases,” he said. 

Sreng called on Phnom Penh residents to play their part in the elimination of aedes aegypti habitats and deal with any places water can pool and become stagnant, as this is where the insects breed.

Ngy Mean Heng, director of the municipal health department, said that over the course of six weeks, 1,000 patients were diagnosed with dengue fever.

As an emergency measure, he said working groups, in collaboration with the army’s Brigade 70, had sprayed insecticide in five districts – Dangkor, Kamboul, Por Sen Chey, Sen Sok and Meanchey, the districts which have been determined as most vulnerable.

The National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM) reported that in 2023, it recorded a total of 35,390 cases of dengue fever, with 99 deaths (a 0.28 per cent fatality rate), a near threefold increase over 2022, when 12,985 cases and 21 deaths were recorded.