Unicef Providing Critical Medical Supplies as Dengue Outbreak Escalates

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

Unicef is stepping up its assistance for the Government of Bangladesh's efforts to control the dengue epidemic in the nation as a result of the more than 21,000 dengue cases among children under the age of 15 that have been recorded.

Unicef is providing US$2.25 million worth of urgently required testing kits, professional training, along with other essential goods and services in the health and water, sanitation, and hygiene sectors in order to safeguard children and respond to the public health emergency.

In total, 64 districts are presently affected by the dengue outbreak. More than 112,000 cases of dengue have been documented, with 20% of those cases involving children under the age of 15, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. There have been more than 500 deaths attributed to dengue.

In a year when the world has seen a rising number of climate driven disasters, climate change is also exacerbating the spread of vector-borne diseases like dengue, directly impacting the lives of children as well as adults.

"Once again, children in Bangladesh are at the frontlines of climate change as the dengue crisis here escalates," said Sheldon Yett, Unicef representative to Bangladesh.

"The Government of Bangladesh is undertaking a timely and effective response to the ongoing dengue situation in the country. The need of the hour is for the communities to ensure that mosquitoes do not breed in their houses and take all precautionary measures to ward away mosquitoes,' said Professor Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

He also added that "we are providing testing kits, medical supplies, mosquito nets, and we are also working with the city corporation and relevant bodies to eliminate vector breeding sites." 

Among other measures, Unicef is supporting the government in engaging communities and raising awareness about dengue prevention and taking necessary preventive measures.

Additionally, Unicef has organized community and religious leaders to persuade people with useful information to stop the spread of dengue. In the last month, Unicef has helped the government reach nearly 50 million people with messages on dengue prevention by disseminating information at large meetings and on social media.

Together with partners, Unicef is also assisting the government of Bangladesh with crucial medical supplies, including as kits with 13,400 tests, staff capacity-building, technical assistance, and implementation of initiatives like campaigns to clear up breeding grounds in specific locations.

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