Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cambodia's dengue fever death toll sharply falls this year


PHNOM PENH, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- The number of reported cases of dengue fever rose in 2009, but fatalities significantly fell from 2008 due to improved public awareness, local media reported on Thursday, citing health officials.

Ngan Chantha, director of dengue control at the Health Ministry, was quoted by the Cambodia Daily as saying that there were 11,625 cases of dengue fever and 36 deaths from the disease this year, compared to 9,245 cases and 65 deaths last year.

"We intervened by disseminating information through the media, spraying mosquito insecticide and training doctors and nurses to help dengue victims properly."

"People understand the disease and how dangerous it is, but they still don't change their behavior," he said, referring to the need to keep homes free of places where mosquitoes can breed.

Most of this year's dengue infections occurred in high-density areas in provinces including Kompong Cham, Kandal, Siem Reap and Kampot, as well as the capital Phnom Penh, Chantha added.

Doung Socheat, director of the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, agreed with Ngan Chantha that this year's decrease in fatalities was due to improved awareness and public health education on how to treat the disease.

Public health authorities will concentrate on decreasing further the number of both dengue infections and fatalities in the coming year, Socheat said.

Editor: Anne Tang

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