The Ministry of Health in conjunction with the southern province of Kien Giang held a meeting on June 15 to mark ASEAN’s second Dengue Fever Day.

Representatives from the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Health Departments of 19 cities and provinces in southern Vietnam attended the event.

According to a WHO report, dengue fever is found in more than 100 tropical and subtropical countries, which are home to over 2.5 billion people. Each year, almost 50 million people suffer from the disease, which has a negative impact on public health.

In Vietnam , dengue fever, which is transmitted by mosquitos, is present all year round, especially from July to October, when many epidemics break out. Each year, the country records an average of 100,000 cases of dengue fever, with over 100 dying from the disease.

2012 is the second year that ASEAN member countries have held ASEAN Dengue Fever Day. It creates an opportunity for member countries to share their experiences of the disease and discuss initiatives and solutions to deal with the issue as well as calling for a joint effort from communities to prevent the disease.

At the meeting, the Ministry of Health said it will increase investment to step up preventative measures in the fight against dengue fever. It will also introduce a number of information campaigns to raise people’s awareness of the issue.-VNA