Jakarta (ANTARA) - A health expert has suggested that Indonesia's health authority adopt the dengue handling strategies implemented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

"Apart from our country, several countries on the American continent are also experiencing an increase in dengue cases. The figure is three times higher compared to the same period in 2023," Prof. Tjandra Yoga Aditama said in Jakarta on Monday.

Aditama, who is the former director of Communicable Diseases at the World Health Organization (WHO) - Southeast Asia Regional Office, noted that several measures implemented in the Americas can be considered in Indonesia.

The first, he said, is getting clarity on and confirming which dengue virus serotype is circulating in Indonesia.

"We know that there are four serotypes of the dengue virus and it would be good if there is clear information in our country regarding which serotype is circulating in which region," he explained.

The second measure implemented in the American continent is intensifying the eradication of mosquito breeding places.

"This must be followed by the third effort, namely protection against mosquito bites. For example, by wearing long-sleeved shirts or using certain protective fluids," he said.

The fourth measure, he added, is ensuring the readiness of health facilities to diagnose dengue as early as possible and provide clinical treatment at the right time.

"On the American continent, the target of dengue fatality rate is under 0.05 percent, a very low figure, which is good to be set as a target in our country as well," he said.

Meanwhile, the fifth measure applied in the American continent is continuous education of local communities about dengue symptoms and when it is appropriate to seek immediate medical help.

He said that Puerto Rico has declared a public health emergency following a 140-percent increase in dengue cases.

"For our country, it has been reported that cases from January to March 2024 increased by threefold," he added.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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