Sunday, May 1, 2016
Vietnam - Health Ministry warns malaria outbreaks could be more complicated in Vietnam this year
The Ministry of Health has warned that insecticide-resistant mosquitoes have appeared in the country and are liable to spread.
The ministry predicted that combating malaria will likely be more complicated this year, with the number of cases increasing both in areas where the disease used to be common and in places where cases had not previously occurred.
Director of the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE), Tran Thanh Duong, said on Tuesday that malaria had been greatly reduced since 1991. In some cities and provinces there have been no cases reported in recent years.
Disease prevention work produced encouraging results last year. The number of people contracting the malarial parasite decreased sharply against previous years.
The number of malaria patients nation-wide last year was reduced by 31 per cent against previous years, with only three deaths reported.
In 2015, city and provincial authorities mobilised financial and human resources to implement disease discovery, diagnosis and treatment for patients.
Local authorities took the initiative in preventing mosquitoes from breeding, killing their larvae and disseminating methods for people to protect themselves from malaria.
The director said that disease prevention work faced difficulties in remote and poor areas, where people still slept in fields in the mountains over-night without mosquito nets.
There was the additional threat of malaria spreading via those who travel and trade at border areas with Laos and Cambodia. Also, there were increasing numbers of Vietnamese labourers going to Africa and countries where malaria and medicine-resistance parasites are endemic.
The State budget for malaria prevention programmes is limited and sources of international aid for the problem have decreased.
The Preventive Health Department reported that the health sector strives to reduce the ratio of people contracting malaria to under 15 people per 100,000 in the 2016-2020 period.
The department continues to maintain and develop grassroots prevention health workers and expand effective working models in high-risk areas.