Dominican Republic faces more and deadlier dengue than previous years, Fernandez admin moves to tackle scourge head-on
The death rate from dengue has been higher in Santo Domingo for the first half of 2010 than at any time over the past four years, according to official figures compiled since January 2006 up until July of this year.
The number of dengue fatalities in 2006 and 2007 was 12, in 2008 the deaths totaled 4, in 2009 there were eight fatalities and in the first half of 2010 there have been 25 fatalities. With regards to the number of cases reported, in 2006 there were 1,115, in 2007 there were 3,500, in 2008 there were 750, in 2009 the number was 1,291 and so far in 2010 4,700 cases have been reported.
By the course that dengue has taken in DR, and taking into consideration the fact that the disease, declared an epidemic by the Dominican Medical Association (CMD), has still not reached the critical point that usually occurs between the months of August and September, there will be a large number of fatalities and cases.
In response to this situation, Dominican health authorities have announced the launch a large-scale national campaign this weekend to continue promoting preventive activities against dengue and other tropical diseases.
Public Health Minister Bautista Rojas Gomez said that events would involve members of the Armed Forces, churches, neighborhood groups, municipal governments, social clubs, NGOs, community groups, professional associations, and the media in a crusade to prevent fatalities. He said that the campaign would be intense from Friday to Sunday, although he guaranteed that preventive measures would continue to take place throughout the year.
The mobilization includes the reinforcement and posting of health personnel throughout the country, spraying, eliminating breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that spread the disease, and distributing educational materials on how to prevent these diseases.