Dengue in Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Lao PDR, as of the 14th June 2013, has recorded 10,159 dengue cases nationally with 40 deaths. This is seven times more than the number of cases that had been reported for the same period in 2012. Most of the deaths reported involved mainly of children under the age of 15.
As the rainy season begins, the number of dengue cases is expected to increase dramatically. Lao PDR might encounter the worst dengue epidemic in its history and the government is in the midst of putting in place prevention and control measures.
WHO recommends that the Government take immediate action to reduce the risk of dengue transmission and mitigate the impact of the dengue epidemic. The leadership of the local government is critical. The local governor needs to activate its local Communicable Disease Control Committee; closely monitor the local dengue situation; promote awareness campaigns; coordinate a multi-sectoral and development partners’ response; and mobilize resources.
All levels of health facilities need to establish contingency plan in the case of surging capacity to respond to gradual increase in patients who come to the health facilities. They also need to ensure correct clinical management in health facilities in the coming months.
Dengue is common risk to all residents in Lao PDR now. People are all in collective risk and need collective response and shared responsibility. WHO commits to continuous support for government action against dengue prevention and control in Lao PDR.