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Siem Reap sees sixfold rise in dengue fever

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Phnom Penh authorities carry out a campaign aimed at raising residents’ awareness of dengue fever on Tuesday. Fresh News

Siem Reap sees sixfold rise in dengue fever

From January 1 to June 9, more than 6,000 patients received treatment for dengue fever at hospitals in Siem Reap province, out of whom eight died. The figure represents a sixfold increase compared to the same period last year when there were no casualties.

Bou Sarin, the chairman of the Dengue Fever Programme at the Siem Reap provincial Health Department, told The Post on Tuesday that the worst affected communes in Siem Reap district are Slakram, Kokchak, Sala Kamroeuk and Nokor Thom.

He said that last Wednesday, the provincial Health Department began to spray insecticide to kill mosquitoes at schools, markets and along public roads in those communes.

Some 100 litres of liquid insecticide had been used, he said, out of the 400 litres provided by the Ministry of Health to the province.

“We don’t have enough insecticide for this year because we have sprayed 100 litres already,” Sarin said.

He said all eight of the patients killed by dengue fever this year were children aged between four and 14.

More than 6,000 dengue fever patients have received treatment, Sarin said, of which 2,600 are from Siem Reap province, and the others mostly come from the surrounding provinces such as Kampong Thom.

“The children died because they were brought to the hospital too late,” he said.

National Dengue Disease Control Programme director Leang Rithy told The Post on June 16 that from January 1 to May 19, more than 12,000 dengue fever patients were treated across the country. This is some threefold increase on the same period last year, out of whom 21 died.

Rithy said the 21 deaths were because they had failed to receive treatment at state hospitals and instead took improper treatment at small clinics that did not have specialist doctors.

On Tuesday, deputy Phnom Penh governor Keo Sok Pisey and Phnom Penh Municipal Health Department director Ngy Mean Heng carried out a campaign to educate people to put insecticide in a jar or basin to kill mosquito larvae.

The official Phnom Penh Municipal Health Department Facebook page said it was attempting to teach people how to eliminate mosquito habitats in the capital.

The department also appealed to citizens to help eradicate attractive habitats for mosquitoes by ensuring there was nothing that can hold stagnant water, such as car or motorbike tyres and tin cans.

Separately last Friday, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport also instructed all municipal and provincial education departments to disseminate information on preventative measures against the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

It told them to advise students to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers, not to play in dark places or bushes and to open doors and windows to provide enough light.

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