Thailand marks ASEAN Dengue Day

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AYUTTHAYA , June 15 – Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri on Friday launched Thailand’s campaign marking ASEAN Dengue Day, instructing health officials nationwide to speed up measures to eliminate mosquitoes.

The campaign marking ASEAN Dengue Day on June 15 held in Ayutthaya’s Bang Sai district was aimed at educating the public about preventive measures against dengue fever and measures to eliminate the aedes aegypti mosquitoes which are the carriers of the disease.

Mr Witthaya explained that dengue fever, transmitted to humans by mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus, was one of the main health problems in the South East Asian region and raised concerns among the health ministers and officials in the region.

About 200,000 persons in the region reportedly suffer from dengue fever every year, the minister said.

In the first six months of this year, the total number of dengue patients, particularly in Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, recorded at nearly 70,000 persons while the fever killed 57 persons.

To battle the dengue virus in Thailand, Mr Witthaya instructed provincial health official across the country to speed up measures to eliminate the virus-bearing mosquitoes as well as asking health networks, health volunteers and the public to comply with the anti-dengue measures.

Concerned that the growing incidence of dengue affected many people in the region, health ministers from 10 ASEAN country members endorsed ASEAN Dengue Day as an annual advocacy campaign day for dengue prevention and control at regional and national levels. The health ministers committed to support and promote the official launch of ASEAN Dengue Day on 15 June 2011 and every year thereafter.