Published Date: 2007-09-12 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/MBDS> Dengue - Myanmar (05): RFI
Archive Number: 20070912.3021
DENGUE - MYANMAR (05): REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 12 Sep 2007
Source: Reuters Foundation AlertNet, Blogger site [edited]
Dengue is caused by a mosquito called _Aedes aegypti_. In some
countries there are control programmes. In Myanmar, where less than
0.4 percent [of the government's budget] is spent on health care (USD
0.50 per person), there is no such programme. Not surprisingly dengue
outbreaks hit the impoverished country hard and fast.
Throughout Myanmar more than 1000 people a week, most of them
children, were diagnosed with dengue in July , according to
government statistics. However this figure is only for public
hospitals. In Yangon alone there are over 1000 private clinics.
One paediatrician who runs a private clinic in Yangon reported seeing
more than 100 children a day in the 1st 10 days of August . "I
started work every day at 6 am and didn't finish until 11 pm. It
hasn't been this bad since the outbreak in 1996," he says. In 1996,
tens of thousands of people were affected.
The cost of treating dengue is USD 1.50. The average Myanmar family
makes USD 1.64 a day. But even if a family is able to pay for tests,
the medicines may not be available. One paediatrician who didn't want
to be identified said medicines were not stockpiled in advance for an epidemic.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) held its 1st coordination meeting
on [3 Aug 2007] in Yangon. At around the same time, the UN children's
agency UNICEF started distributing leaflets with information on how
to prevent dengue, identify the symptoms, and what to do at the 1st
sign a child has the disease.
Cases in April and May  were nearly double what they were the
year before , official statistics show. In June , WHO's
regional office reported there was a risk of a major outbreak.
In August , UNICEF received a request from the government for
USD 55 000 to buy pesticides, fumigation equipment, and continue
[Blogged by: Amy Leung]
[In the last ProMED-MBDS posting on dengue in Myanmar dated 9 Jul
2007, there were reports of 30 deaths out of 3000 cases (see Dengue -
Myanmar (04): RFI 20070709.2177). The newswire above does not provide
specific figures to know what the most recent morbidity and mortality
statistics are in the country with respect to dengue fever. It is
clear from all of the reports to date, that 2007 is a major year for
dengue activity in Southeast Asia, with significant morbidity and
mortality in many of the MBDS countries.
Of note, the newswire above quotes a physician saying that it hasn't
been as bad since the outbreak in 1996. To put this into perspective,
according to the WHO Southeast Asian Regional Office (SEARO)
statistics, the numbers below represent annual reported cases of
dengue in Myanmar during the period 1996 through 2006 (information
for 2007 was not available as yet -- see
1996 - 1854 cases / 18 deaths
1997 - 4500 cases / 82 deaths
1998 - 13 002 cases / 211 deaths
1999 - 5828 cases / 88 deaths
2000 - 1884 cases / 14 deaths
2001 - 15 695 cases / 204 deaths
2002 - 16047 cases / 170 deaths
2003 - 7907 cases / 78 deaths
2004 - 7369 cases / 79 deaths
2005 - 17 454 cases / 169 deaths
2006 - 11 383 cases / 128 deaths
The important fact to note is that this is considered to be a worse
year for many years, so that one suspects that the current case load
seen in Myanmar exceeds the 17 454 cases and 169 deaths reported in 2005.
ProMED-MBDS would greatly appreciate information from knowledgeable
sources about the current dengue situation in Myanmar.
For a map of Myanmar, see