The Ministry of Health is calling on people and businesses from all walks of life to donate money for dengue campaign

The Ministry of Health is calling on people and businesses from all walks of life to donate money to help sustain the country’s ongoing fight against dengue fever. Communicable Disease Control Department Director General, Dr Bounlay Phommasack, said the ministry had spent about 2.6 billion kip in the last month to support more than 1,000 doctors, nurses and medical students in provinces suffering from the dengue outbreak.

Dr Bounlay said at a Business Units to Combat Dengue meeting that, the government has a limited budget and wants the public to donate money to support the dengue campaign. With no end yet in sight for the current dengue outbreak, continued high spending is expected to put pressure on government coffers.

Money raised through the funding drive will be used to support doctors, nurses and students to work through August, September and October, until the rainy season ends and the infection rate slows. The ministry expect more than 8 billion kip will still be required in this year’s dengue campaign.

Minister of Health, Professor Dr Eksavang Von gvichit, said the Ministry of Health would rather not put pressure on businesses and the public to donate to the dengue fight, but the government had only limited funds to deal with the serious situation. He said, the contribution of society will be an important part of combating dengue this year. It is also one of many ways to make merit.

In the first half of 2013, more than 23,000 people nationwide were reported as having contracted the virus, resulting in 69 deaths. Most of the reported cases have been in the capital and the provinces of Champassak, Savannakhet, Saravan, Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Bokeo, Xekong, Khammuan and Xayaboury.

Health officials believe removing the breeding sources of dengue-carrying mosquitoes is the most effective way to fight the spread of the disease.

Source: LNTV Lao News in English