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(Photo: moh.gov.vn)
Deputy Minister of Health: More aggressive interventions focused on malaria hot-spots

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Lien Huong emphasized that more focalized and aggressive interventions should be considered and implemented in confirmed foci of transmissions to eliminate malaria, and close supervision of areas with mobilized and migrant populations.


On March 22, 2023, in Ha Noi, the Ministry of Health and PATH - a global non-profit organization o­n public health held the annual review meeting o­n the National Malaria Control and Elimination Program (NMCEP), parasitic diseases and vector control in 2022, and implementation of the 2023 action plan to accelerate malaria elimination in Viet Nam. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Lien Huong, Deputy Minister of Health attended and spoke at the meeting.

The conference aims to contribute to, through the strengthened communications and policy advocacy, ensuring sustainable finance for malaria control and elimination, prevention of malaria re-establishment, and updating new and effective treatment measures.

According to the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE), over the past 30 years, the NMCEP has reaped remarkable achievements. In 1991, malaria broke out throughout the country with more than 1 million cases, killing 4,646 people. In 2022, the number of malaria patients was o­nly 455, including o­ne death, and no malaria outbreaks occured. Up to now, 42 provinces and cities have been recognized as malaria-free.

However, the disease, which is mostly spread through mosquitoes, has still developed complicatedly in many localities, threatening more than 6.8 million people. Major reasons behind the situation include uncontrollable mobilized populations and border crossers (free migrants, agricultural workers, forest goers), drug-resistant malaria parasites; insecticides resistant mosquitoes, and modest resources for malaria prevention, control and elimination. These are main obstacles as Viet Nam moves from malaria control towards elimination.


Deputy Minister of Health, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Lien Huong, made a statement at the annual review meeting o­n malaria, parasitic diseases and vector control in 2022, and implementation of the 2023 action plan to accelerate malaria elimination in Viet Nam (Photo: moh.gov.vn)

Meanwhile, data from the Ministry of Health in 2022 showed that in the year, the country reported 360,000 dengue fever cases, including 100 deaths. NIMPE has conducted monitoring over mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever at 57 areas in 12 provinces and discovered the changes in behaviours of the mosquitoes as well as their insecticides resistance.

At the same time, campaigns to prevent and control parasitic diseases were conducted, with more than 12.8 million children aged 24 - 60 months, primary school students and women of reproductive age were dewormed in 2022.

According to the Ministry of Health, this year, relevant professional guidance should be reviewed, adjusted and supplemented to be carried out comprehensively across the country, along with the evaluation of the progress of the national strategy against malaria until 2020 with a vision to 2030. Alongside, the ministry will roll out measures to prevent the re-establishment of the disease to the 42 malaria-free localities, while enhancing the quality of efforts to prevent parasitic and vector-borne diseases.


Participants to the meeting (Photo: moh.gov.vn)

Participants held that it is necessary to strengthen policy advocacy for the work and support medical staff, while increasing the application of new techniques in preventing, detecting and treating the disease, and mapping the distribution of mosquitoes.

"For provinces that are hotspots for malaria, it is necessary to plan for and focus o­n aggressive interventions to eliminate malaria; Closely monitor areas with mobilized and migrant populations; Strengthen surveillance of malaria cases and malaria vectors; Increase training for grassroots health workers in terms of timely diagnosis and treatment of malaria patients, especially imported malaria, Additionally, promote health education and communication among the population to raise awareness about proactively protecting themselves, family, and community," requested the Deputy Minister of Health.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Lien Huong also highly appreciated the continued companionship, support, and assistance provided by international organizations over the years in combating diseases in Viet Nam, particularly supporting the Ministry of Health in malaria elimination by 2030.

"I propose that international organizations continue to provide financial support and technical expertise to enhance efforts in preventing, controlling, and eliminating malaria, parasitic diseases, and vector-borne diseases in Viet Nam so as to achieve goals," expressed the Deputy Minister of Health.


Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Lien Huong and participants to the meeting (Photo: moh.gov.vn)

(Translated and recapitulated by An Khang)  
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