Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has issued an eight-point plan to destroy mosquitoes carrying dengue fever amid the rainy season.
In a four-page directive, Bun Heng warned that while the number of dengue cases has dropped sharply compared to last year, it could increase in the country later this year if people do not take precautions.
The ministry has recorded 2,172 cases in the first 19 weeks of this year, compared to 13,843 in the first 21 weeks of last year. The National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control said of the 13,843 cases last year, 24 deaths were recorded.
Caused by female yellow fever mosquitoes that transmit the virus from one person to another, Bun Heng said the disease can hit people of all ages. This kind of mosquito usually lives in stagnant water.
Bun Heng appealed to people and local authorities to keep the mosquitoes at bay by destroying the places where they can breed and live, such as water jars, reservoirs, vases and water containers. People are encouraged to change or clear the water at least once a week.
He said water jars, reservoirs and containers should be disinfected or filled with small fish to eat mosquito larvae.
The minister also told construction site managers and workers to clear areas around the sites which could breed the mosquitoes and urged local authorities to check on them.
Those selling motorbike and car tyres also need to prevent them from storing water.
People should make their living environment clean with enough light. All bushes around houses should be cleared. People should wear long-sleeve shirts and trousers and sleep under mosquito nets.
“Don’t try to treat high body temperature by yourself or delay treatment,” he said. He advised people to go to a hospital immediately should they have a high temperature.
Bun Heng also instructed all provincial health departments to train state and private health services on how to diagnose and treat dengue patients. Unspecialised hospitals are not allowed to treat dengue but told to send patients to the nearest state hospital immediately.
Kandal provincial health department director Kuoy Buntheoun said on Sunday that the province has recorded 290 cases in the first 21 weeks of this year.
He said the figure had sharply decreased compared to the same period last year when 1,298 cases were recorded.
He said of the 290 cases, 22 patients are being treated in the provincial hospital, while 268 others are getting treatment at national-level hospitals such as Kantha Bopha. Most of the patients are children, he said.
“We already had a plan and implemented it. Abatement measures have been used in the water jars and reservoirs in the province.
“We also started to educate people about this disease. We have the data showing which village, commune and district have most cases,” he said.