The Ministry of Health will organise campaigns to combat dengue fever throughout this year since there has been a sharp increase in its incidence.
|Dengue patients are treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo|
Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien instructed health authorities to focus on efforts to reduce the number of cases and deaths.
“The reduction in new infection cases is now the main task,” she told a conference in HCM City on July 19.
The number of dengue cases would continue to rise this year, especially in the southern region and the Central Highlands, she warned.
She called on cities and provinces to organise more public campaigns to communicate measures for the prevention and control of the disease.
In the first six months of this year 96,000 cases were reported in the country, a three-fold increase from last year, according to a report released by the Ministry of Health.
Seven people have died since January.
Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, An Giang, Tien Giang, and Vinh Long provinces and HCM City and Da Nang saw sharp increases in the number of cases.
Health experts said a rise in average temperature and rain and changing dengue virus serotype patterns were the main reasons for the increase.
HCM City reported the highest number of cases, 27,150, up 166 per cent from the same period last year.
Five people have died in the city.
The Hospital for Tropical Diseases in HCM City and the Children Hospital Nos1 and 2 are overloaded with dengue patients.
Only 10-20 per cent of patients have serious complications and the remaining 80 per cent with minor issues could be treated at local hospitals, Tien said.
Major hospitals in the city should classify patients and transfer those with minor complications to local hospitals to avoid overloading, she said.
The southern province of Dong Nai has also seen a sharp increase in the number of cases.
In the first half of the year, the province reported 5,090 cases, a 2.6-fold rise from the same period last year.
Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the HCM City Preventive Medicine Centre, said public awareness about having mosquito-free surroundings is crucial to the prevention of dengue.
The city would severely penalise violations related to prevention and control of the disease, he added.
In the first half of the year fines were imposed in 64 instances in 13 districts.