The Social Security System (Caja) saw more than 110,000 consultations and treated almost 50,500 people infected with dengue fever last year, the Caja told the press on Thursday.
Rosa Climent, head of medicine at the Caja, stressed the urgency for strengthening efforts to combat dengue this year, too.
The problem is costing the Caja heavily. Social Security spent ¢4.16 billion ($8.3 million) last year on treatment against the mosquito-borne disease.
Climent said that the Social Security System will continue to work with both public agencies and private firms to keep the fight going.
One example of the private sector’s commitment, Climent said in a statement, is beverage company Florida Bebidas’ campaign, “Barridas contra el dengue” (Sweep Up Dengue), designed to help 20 of the most dengue-prone areas of Costa Rica.
“The program is a clean-up effort in which volunteers spend the weekend collecting garbage off the street such as empty bottles and sometimes old washing machines, which can accumulate water and create a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” Caja spokeswoman María Isabel Solís told The Tico Times.
The project launched Sunday in the Cañas canton, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, according to Carlos Francisco Echeverría of Florida Bebidas, and is set to continue this weekend in Liberia, the province’s capital, and Belén, a town northwest of San José.