An outbreak of malaria in Myanmar has claimed 30 lives in 2017 and eights deaths from January to November this year. The country saw a total of 22,204 dengue cases with 107 deaths from January to November this year. There were 31,288 cases of dengue cases with a total 192 dengue-related deaths last year.
Myanmar registered a total of 31,964 cases of malaria infections so far this year and with 8 malaria-related. Therefore, it is important that we accelerate efforts to fight malaria and dengue.
At the 71st World Health Conference, Myanmar signed the Ministerial Call for Action to Eliminate Malaria in the Greater Mekong Sub-region before 2030. The country is implementing the South-East Asia Region’s 2017-2030 Malaria Elimination Action Plan to achieve the goal.
For combating mosquito-borne diseases, stronger surveillance and information systems hold great potential. By building on and strengthening the existing surveillance in a timely manner, national malaria programmes will be in a better position to allocate or redirect resources to affected areas, especially in the event of an outbreak.
According to the WHO, 20 million people contract dengue fever across the world every year. Of these, a total of 500,000 cases require hospitalisation.
Between 1960 and 2010, the incidence of dengue outbreaks increased by more than 30 per cent across the world. In Myanmar alone, there were 31,288 dengue cases in 2017.
The main reasons for the higher incidence of cases, according to experts, are climate change and a higher breeding rate of the Aedes mosquito. Another reason for the rising frequency of dengue is the habit of Myanmar people to store water, which increases the number of places where mosquitoes can breed.
The most effective way to eliminate mosquito-borne diseases is encouraging public participation in preventive measures. People must take part in prevention programmes by keeping their homes and surroundings clean and ensuring there is no standing water in or around their homes for the vectors to breed.
The Ministry of Health and Sports recently distributed mobile tablets to its staff in the regions and states as part of efforts to enhance skills of medical staff , allow more effective dissemination of health-related information to the public, and increase the efficacy of medical treatment administered by doctors stationed in townships and settlements on the front lines.
To achieve the goal of eliminating mosquito-born diseases, we must continue with our chosen trajectory.