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New leaders in dengue fight

The Vientiane Health Department has trained six people in every village in the capital as community leaders for dengue prevention.

Department Epidemiology Division Head, Dr Chanthalay Sayavong, said the leader idea was the newest measure in the fight against the potentially-fatal virus, which is expected to continue until October.

“This is an attack to try and keep the virus at bay,” he said.

Each of the 1,080 community leaders in 180 villages across seven districts will work with local residents to promote the removal of mosquito breeding grounds.

The leaders will encourage people in their village to follow the government's ‘Five Por' – closing water containers, emptying vessels with standing water, releasing guppy fish in water bodies, cleaning up around their houses and undertaking prevention activities regularly.

Every week the leaders will door-knock throughout their communities to ensure residents have carried out the prevention measures.

Dr Chanthalay said the programme would be effective as the leaders came from within the community.

“It will be easier to communicate with villagers,” he said.

Department epidemiologists will evaluate the success of the new campaign on a weekly basis.

A resident of Dongkhamxang village in Hadxaifong district, Ms Poy, said a community leader came to her house last week to encourage her to follow advice on dengue control.

“It is good idea for people to monitor my house every week,” she said.

“It will remind me because sometimes I forget to remove mosquito breeding sources when I am busy with other housework.”

More than 48,000 people have fallen ill from the virus this year in Laos, resulting in 92 deaths.

The US$70,000 community le ader campaign is supported by the World Health Organisation and Health Poverty Action.

Source: Vientiane Times


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