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AID workers are battling an outbreak of deadly dengue fever in El Salvador, reports children’s charity Plan International.
More than 3,300 cases of the mosquito-carried disease have been confirmed since mid-August, with four deaths.
Further poor weather could lead to an increase in mosquito numbers, posing risks for poorer families and children in particular.
Low access to basic services such as toilet facilities increases the risk of exposure to the epidemic. Dengue is prevented by keeping areas free from mosquito breeding.
“Mosquito populations breed especially in reservoirs in which poor families collect drinking water,” says Plan’s Disaster Risk Reduction National Advisor, Francisco Soto.
“While spraying can help, insecticides and smoke coming from diesel burning can affect human health, especially in children.”
Numbers of children hospitalized for suspected dengue have risen in recent weeks, with four out of five schools tested having mosquito larvae.
Plan is supporting the Ministry of Health in distributing posters and flyers with key messages to prevent dengue and contain its outbreak.
Special attention is being dedicated to protect children and other vulnerable groups. The charity has also conducted a dengue prevention campaign in 50 schools, reaching 1,000 children.
Presentations were also conducted for parents, and each school received prevention kits and educational posters.
Aid workers for Plan also hope to provide dengue prevention kits to schools, mosquito nets for children at risk, and public awareness materials.
For more information on Plan’s work visit www.plan-uk.org