EC Donation To Fight Dengue

July 11, 2002
By Yun Samean
The Cambodia Daily

The European Commission has donated around $700,000 to the Cambodian Red Cross to protect Cambodians from dengue fever. The mosquito-borne disease saw a drastic decrease in victims last year, thanks to a mosquito-blitz campaign launched by the Ministry of Health.

However, the illness now threats to become an annual epidemic, straying from its normal three-year cycle because of last year's reductions.

The EC donation will be supported by the World Health Organization and the Echo Fund, said Da Ya, project health officer for the Cambodian Red Cross. The Red Cross will support dengue-repression projects in 45 districts of 21 provinces across Cambodia, Da Ya said.

The project will last for about five months.
Part of the project includes enlisting the help of 200 Red Cross volunteers who will work to educate villagers on dengue prevention.

The most effective way to fight dengue fever which can be fatal is to take away the water where dengue-carrying mosquitoes breed. This can include covering the water jars common in Cambodian households and ensuring there are no other places where standing water is exposed to the air. Use of the insecticide Abate in water jars is another safe way to keep the mosquitoes from breeding, health officials say.

Part of the EC donation will go toward the purchase and distribution of Abate, as well as the production of educational posters, Da Ya said.