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Malaria control remains big challenge

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Malaria control in Vietnam remains a big challenge as there are nearly 20 million people living in malaria-endemic areas, accounting for 22.5 percent of the total population.

Nguyen Van Binh, Head of the the Health Ministry’s Preventive Health Department emphasised the fact at a ceremony to launch World Malaria Day (April 25) in the central and Central Highlands regions, which are the country’s hotspots of malaria.

In 2012, seven of the eight deaths of malaria nationwide were reported in these regions, Binh said.

The situation was attributed to low capacity of the grassroots healthcare system, people’s awareness in preventing malaria, insecticide-resistant mosquitoes, cross-border exchanges in hyper-endemic areas seasonal movements, Binh added.

According to Tran Cong Dai, an expert of the World Health Organisation in Vietnam, early diagnosis, correct and timely treatment, sleeping in insecticide-soaked mosquito nets and spraying anti-mosquito chemicals are basic preventive measures.

The Government needs to continue its investment in malaria control efforts in order to maintain achievements and completely eliminate the disease in the future, he said.

The ceremony was co-organised by the Quy Nhon Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology and the People’s Committee of central Phu Yen province in Song Hinh district on April 23. As many as 500 people, including officials from the healthcare sector of 15 central and Central Highlands provinces, local residents and students, attended the event.-VNA
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