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Hundreds of children in hospital with dengue

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A mother brings her sick baby to the Kantha Bopha IV Children’s Hospital in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. Heng Chivoan

Hundreds of children in hospital with dengue

A serious dengue fever epidemic is affecting Cambodia, with nearly 600 children hospitalised in the five Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals on Monday alone, a statement posted on the Kantha Bopha Foundation’s official Facebook page said on Wednesday.

Because Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals provide free medical care, many parents take their children to one of its hospitals when they suspect their children may have dengue.

The Kantha Bopha Foundation has daily records of the number of children receiving medical treatment at all its five hospitals.

It especially notes the number of dengue fever patients.

“Figures from the five Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals on Monday, June 17, indicated that 4,305 sick children have been examined and treated at the outpatient sections and 2,990 children with serious illnesses were hospitalised."

“Among them, 577 children were diagnosed as suffering from severe hemorrhagic dengue fever and were hospitalised, while 89 were operated on,” the Kantha Bopha Foundation said.

It requested that all parents and guardians exercise care and take measures to prevent dengue fever by protecting children from being bitten by mosquitoes.

Banteay Meanchey provincial Department of Health director Keo Sopheaktra told The Post on Wednesday that dengue fever had increased more than threefold in the province compared to last year.

He said that in the first five months of this year, 728 children in his province had been diagnosed with the disease, with 70 per cent of patients being sent to Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap town.

However, Sopheaktra said no one had been killed by dengue fever this year, while during the same period last year, one died out of the 214 children diagnosed with the disease.

“Our health officers are continuing with campaigns to educate and inform people in the locality, schools and the public about preventative measures to curb the spread of dengue fever."

“The main ways to prevent mosquito bites are to wear long-sleeved clothes and sleep under a mosquito net. It is also advised to keep home and community environments clean,” he said.

According to a Ministry of Health report, more than 12,000 people were diagnosed with dengue fever in the first five months of this year, of which 21 died.

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