Officials To Start Massive Anti-Dengue Plan Campaign

On Monday the Ministry of Health, the National Malaria Center, the World Health Organ­ization and others will make what they call a pre-emptive strike against dengue fever by carpeting Phnom Penh and Kandal prov­inces with the larvicide Abate.

From July 23 to Aug 6, 80 tons of Abate will be dropped in water jars and pools of clear water where the “Tiger” mosquito lays its eggs.

The Abate action—the second this year—will begin with a ceremony at the Red Cross Center in Phnom Penh.

Abate has been distributed in 15 provinces this year, covering ap­proximately 3.5 million people in the densely populated areas that are traditionally at highest risk for dengue. Those in Abate protected areas are three times less likely to contract dengue fever.

Dengue outbreaks, which run in 3-year cycles, are lower this year than in 1998. There were more than 3,206 cases of dengue fever recorded by the end of June 2001, with 75 deaths. Most of those who died of dengue fever were under 15 years old.

Outbreaks usually occur in urban areas where dense populations make a ready target for the tiger mosquito (Aedes Aegypti), which lives its life in a closely confined area.

Though the majority of cases are in and around the cities, cases are on the rise in rural areas such as Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap and Preah Vihear prov­in­ces, where access to the necessary medical care is very limited.

Mortality rates from dengue in rural areas are higher than in Phnom Penh, where the Kantha Bopha and National Pediatric hospitals have kept mortality rates below 1 percent. This year, for the first time, Phnom Penh is not the number one district for dengue cases, having dropped to number four.

“This year is very strange,” Dr Duong Socheat, director of the National Malaria Center, said.

Education and use of larvicide in the cities, in addition to in­creased affluence and peace, which made travel easier, led to the rise in rural cases of dengue fever, Dr Stefan Hoyer of the WHO. said. An outbreak in Rat­an­akkiri, for example, was traced to a restaurant popular with foreigners who had unwittingly brought the tiger mosquito or its eggs with them, he said.

“In 2001 we can say that virtually everyone is at risk,” Hoyer said. “We can no longer say that it’s an urban disease.”

The phenomenon of rural outbreaks is also occurring in Viet­nam, Thailand and Indonesia, Duong Socheat said.

Next week’s spread of larvicide will hopefully knock down the mosquitoes in urban areas and thereby halt transmission to the countryside.

Next year, Abate’s use will be expanded, Duong Socheat said.

But evidence from other countries has demonstrated that Tiger mosquitoes build an immunity to Abate over time. Hoyer estimated that Abate would be not­ably less ef­fective in Cambodia in two years.

By Matthew Sweeney

the cambodia daily

On Monday the Ministry of Health, the National Malaria Center, the World Health Organ­ization and others will make what they call a pre-emptive strike against dengue fever by carpeting Phnom Penh and Kandal prov­inces with the larvicide Abate.

From July 23 to Aug 6, 80 tons of Abate will be dropped in water jars and pools of clear water where the “Tiger” mosquito lays its eggs.

The Abate action—the second this year—will begin with a ceremony at the Red Cross Center in Phnom Penh.

Abate has been distributed in 15 provinces this year, covering ap­proximately 3.5 million people in the densely populated areas that are traditionally at highest risk for dengue. Those in Abate protected areas are three times less likely to contract dengue fever.

Dengue outbreaks, which run in 3-year cycles, are lower this year than in 1998. There were more than 3,206 cases of dengue fever recorded by the end of June 2001, with 75 deaths. Most of those who died of dengue fever were under 15 years old.

Outbreaks usually occur in urban areas where dense populations make a ready target for the tiger mosquito (Aedes Aegypti), which lives its life in a closely confined area.

Though the majority of cases are in and around the cities, cases are on the rise in rural areas such as Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap and Preah Vihear prov­in­ces, where access to the necessary medical care is very limited.

Mortality rates from dengue in rural areas are higher than in Phnom Penh, where the Kantha Bopha and National Pediatric hospitals have kept mortality rates below 1 percent. This year, for the first time, Phnom Penh is not the number one district for dengue cases, having dropped to number four.

“This year is very strange,” Dr Duong Socheat, director of the National Malaria Center, said.

Education and use of larvicide in the cities, in addition to in­creased affluence and peace, which made travel easier, led to the rise in rural cases of dengue fever, Dr Stefan Hoyer of the WHO. said. An outbreak in Rat­an­akkiri, for example, was traced to a restaurant popular with foreigners who had unwittingly brought the tiger mosquito or its eggs with them, he said.

“In 2001 we can say that virtually everyone is at risk,” Hoyer said. “We can no longer say that it’s an urban disease.”

The phenomenon of rural outbreaks is also occurring in Viet­nam, Thailand and Indonesia, Duong Socheat said.

Next week’s spread of larvicide will hopefully knock down the mosquitoes in urban areas and thereby halt transmission to the countryside.

Next year, Abate’s use will be expanded, Duong Socheat said.

But evidence from other countries has demonstrated that Tiger mosquitoes build an immunity to Abate over time. Hoyer estimated that Abate would be not­ably less ef­fective in Cambodia in two years.

 

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