Climate change complicates Dengue fever prevention in Can Tho

Climate change complicates Dengue fever prevention in Can Tho

Can Tho in Vietnam is a growing city of about one million people, approximately half of whom live in the city’s peripheral rural districts. Rapid land conversion and population increase in peri-urban areas just outside the high-density urban core means that new residents are moving into areas that still have a lot of open space and limited public health infrastructure. Dengue fever incidence has increased in Can Tho in recent years. Recent migrants who live in poor quality housing conditions are especially vulnerable.
 
Disease transmission is linked to mosquito activity, which increases as the temperature rises and as there is more access
to clean water for breeding. Climate change can lead to increased populations of the Aedes aegyptii mosquito that carries dengue and an expansion of the species’ range. This project studied the empirical connection between dengue fever incidence and climate parameters in Can Tho city. It also tested responses designed to increase the capacity of public health staff and city residents to reduce exposure to dengue including creating new institutions for health promotion.
 
Lessons for policy and practice:
 
The project results show the importance of community-based monitoring, and awareness and prevention practices for dengue fever as climate change leads to greater mosquito activity in the Mekong Delta. Surveillance methods should include multiple indicators of dengue risk in order to focus preventive measures in areas where risks are higher. Larval monitoring is critical to enable timely and targeted mosquito control. These methods require the engagement of community actors and other city agencies (e.g. Department of Education, ward officials) in addition to Department of Health staff. Health clubs can serve an important role in community development and promoting health outcomes, including dengue fever prevention.
 
 
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.