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ASEAN commits to tackling Dengue

The Thaiger & The Nation

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ASEAN commits to tackling Dengue | The Thaiger

The ASEAN region is the most vulnerable to the threat of potentially-fatal dengue fever, according to the World Health Organisation.

Last year, more than 425,000 people in ASEAN nations came down with the disease, the highest number of any region in the world.

ASEAN nations have stood united in their initiatives against dengue fever and for eight years now, June 15 has been observed across the region as ASEAN Dengue Day.

To mark the occasion and heighten dengue awareness, representatives attended two days of regional activities in Singapore to double down on efforts to prevent the spread of the disease. Next month, they will also meet in Malaysia to follow up on their work.

“We are a tropical region, hence the weather conditions are conducive for the breeding of mosquitoes, the carrier of the disease,” Public Health Ministry inspector-general Dr Suthep Petchmark said during a visit to Prachin Buri province to mark ASEAN Dengue Day 2018.

The World Health Organisation has noted that many Southeast Asian nations are highly vulnerable to dengue transmissions. Based on statistics between 2004 and 2010, five ASEAN members have ranked themselves among the 10 most highly endemic nations. The five are: Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia.

To combat the threat of the disease, ASEAN has been campaigning under the theme “One ASEAN Community against Dengue” this year to encourage all involved to eradicate the breeding grounds of mosquitoes and do more to prevent the disease spreading.

ASEAN commits to tackling Dengue | News by The Thaiger

In Thailand, the Disease Control Department has diligently educated people about dengue fever and its prevention.

This year, dengue fever has already hit 17,302 people in Thailand and caused 21 deaths. Of the fatalities, 14 were patients older than 15 years old and had underlying illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

The incidence of dengue fever is usually highest between May and August, which mark the rainy season.

Preecha Prempree, who heads the Vector Borne Diseases Office, said yesterday he was worried that dengue-fever cases in Thailand would increase this year because the rainy season had started earlier than usual.

“In addition, public alertness to the dangers of mosquitoes has weakened,” he said.

ASEAN commits to tackling Dengue | News by The Thaiger

Inquirer Business – INQUIRER.net (2014)

When popular actor Tridsadee “Por” Sahawong died of dengue haemorrhagic fever in 2016, the Thai public became acutely aware of the disease and its danger. So when Zika arose soon after, efforts to eradicate mosquitoes – also main carriers of Zika – were stepped up.

According to Suthep, campaigns against dengue fever will not be restricted to just schools and households. Factories are in focus too.

“We are encouraging entrepreneurs to keep their compounds mosquito-free and advise their workers to immediately see doctors if they have high fever for two days. If members of the workforce fall ill, it can affect factory operations and the country’s economy too,” Suthep said.

Preecha said campaigning was a key part of efforts to combat the dengue threat in ASEAN.

“The upcoming ASEAN meeting in Malaysia will definitely discuss vector control. It’s an effective way to rein in the spread of the disease,” he said.

SOURCES: The Nation

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ASEAN

Human hair trade exploits ASEAN women

Greeley Pulitzer

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Human hair trade exploits ASEAN women | The Thaiger

Hair extensions have become an essential part of the multi-billion-dollar hair industry, with estimated annual sales of 250 million to over 1 billion USD. Based on a 2018 Research and Markets report, the global hair, wigs and extension market is expected to surpass 10 billion USD by 2023.

Raw human hair has significant commercial value: it’s a coveted commodity to be processed into hair extensions and wigs. According to a report by the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), the global value for human hair exports in 2017 was 126 million USD. Asia exported 72.4 million USD, accounting for 58 percent of the global trade.

In India, the Tirupati Balaji temple earns 10 percent of its income through auctioning hair donated by devotees, raking in a profit of 25 million to 40 million USD annually.

There are three categories for collected hair: Remy, non-Remy and virgin hair. Remy is usually obtained from temple donations and is of the highest grade. Non-Remy hair is a lower grade, collected from individuals, and is typically broken or short. Virgin hairhas never been chemically treated.

In Southeast Asia, long hair is esteemed as a mark of beauty with deep religious and social meaning, especially in Buddhist countries. While most brands opt to acquire hair from India where it’s donated for religious reasons, in Southeast Asia, traders target impoverished areas to buy hair from desperately poor people whose poverty makes them easy prey. Hair extensions in the US can cost 500 to 2000 USD, but the owner of the hair usually receives only a fraction of that. For example, Nguyen Thi Thuy of Vietnam says the highest she has ever been offered for her hair is 70,000 Vietnamese dong, or 3 USD. Pheng Sreyvy from Cambodia fared slightly better at 15 USD for her locks.

According to the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, women don’t know how to bargain over the price of hair. “They decided to sell their hair because they are poor, and they don’t know where to sell their hair for international market price,” a spokeswoman said.

The high value of human hair has made hair-theft muggings a recurrent problem in some countries, and some companies have resorted to chemical processing or a mixture of human and goat hair.

Increased awareness of exploitation has prompted many companies to collect hair from more transparent and ethical sources. While the human hair trade has provided many communities with income and opportunities, practices that exploit and deprive women of opportunities continue.

SOURCE: theaseanpost.com

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Expats

Thailand’s immigration police catch thousands of overstayers thanks to airport biometrics

May Taylor

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Thailand’s immigration police catch thousands of overstayers thanks to airport biometrics | The Thaiger

The chief of Thailand’s immigration police says the biometrics system in place at sixteen airports across the country has so far netted 1,000 people who are blacklisted or on watch lists, 700 who have arrest warrants out for them, and 45,000 who have overstayed in the country.

The Nation reports that the system is also used to detect fake passports as it uses UV and infrared light to compare the information stored in a chip in the passport with facial features.

It’s understood that in just three days, police were able to arrest 8,000 people for being in possession of fake passports, illegal immigration, overstaying their visas or criminals with arrest warrants out for their capture.

The notorious fake billionaire who married in a lavish ceremony costing over 3.5 million baht and then left his wife to pick up the tab, was recently arrested at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport after being caught by the biometrics system. See story HERE.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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ASEAN

Thai Airways announces cancellation of six routes to four ASEAN destinations

May Taylor

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Thai Airways announces cancellation of six routes to four ASEAN destinations | The Thaiger

The President of Thai Airways International says the airline is set to cancel six flight routes to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

The Nation reports that Sumeth Damrongchaitham says the routes in question are all from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport to Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Yangon.

“These routes are all covered by a small number of flights and have low customer capacity. Once the cancellation plan is finalised, THAI will assign Thai Smile Airways to cover these routes instead.”

Sumeth cites increased competition as the reason behind the decision and the difficulties presented by rival airlines slashing prices to remain ahead of competitors.

“THAI needs to adjust our strategies too to preserve our reservation rate. We will focus on rolling out promotional campaigns until year end. However, next year’s strategy remains to be seen. Our prices this year have been reduced to a record low and if this strategy doesn’t work, we may take a different direction, such as seeking more partners for organisation tickets, increasing online channels, or giving privileges to frequent fliers.”

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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