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IMPE-Quy Nhon organizes the launching ceremony on propagating "World Malaria Day 25 April 2022" in Quy Nhon city

In order to recognize the efforts in malaria control activities in the world, World Health Assembly of 2007 chose World Malaria Day 25 April annually as an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention. This year, with the theme "Harness innovationto reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives", the Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology Quy Nhon (IMPE-QN) organised the launching ceremony of the World Malaria Day in Quy Nhon city to enhance the awareness and knowledge o­n malaria. Besides, the ceremony is also an opportunity of calling upon relevant agencies and organizations to positively participate in malaria control and elimination in Central Vietnam.

Participants to the launching ceremony included Assoc.Prof. Dr. Ho Van Hoang, PhD. - Director of IMPE-QN, Mr. Vo Tri Dung, MA. - Vice-director of IMPE-QN; Dr. Huynh Hong Quang, PhD. - Vice-director of IMPE-QN, Dr. Tran Quang Phuc, Vice-director of the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE); leaders of departments and staff members of IMPE-QN; leaders of the provincial centers for disease control (CDC) of 15 provinces of Central Vietnam.

The ceremony was highly honored by the presence of international organization representatives, including Dr. Mya Sapal Ngon - the health expert of World Health Organization (WHO) Representative's Office to Viet Nam; Dr. Ngo Dang -Director of Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Vietnam and Mr. Joshua Gwin - Manager of Malaria Programme, CHAI project.

Participant to the launching ceremony

According to WHO's latest World malaria report, there were an estimated 241 million malaria cases and 627,000 malaria deaths worldwide in 2020. This represents about 14 million more cases in 2020 compared to 2019, and 69,000 more deaths. In Vietnam, 467 malaria cases were reported in 2021 - a decrease of 955 cases compared to 2020 and no malaria deaths or outbreaks occurred. Especially, 316 among these 467 malaria cases in 2019 were in Central and West Highlands, which were 859 cases lower than in 2020, but made up 67,7% of the whole country's cases. With the efforts in malaria control, 36 over 63 provinces of the whole country achieved the criteria of malaria elimination in 2021, including o­ne province of Central Vietnam - Da Nang city.

Despite the decrease in malaria indicators, the malaria control programme has been faced challenges and difficulties such as uncontrollable mobilized populations and border crossers (free migrants, agricultural workers, forest goers), limited vector control measures, insecticide resistance, multi-drug resistant malaria parasites with high risk of spreading to many areas and provinces. Besides, P. falciparum infection often causes severe malaria cases and deaths; radical treatment of P.vivax malaria is difficult to achieve due to poor compliance with long route of primaquine administration. These are main obstacles as Viet Nam moves from malaria control towards elimination.

Assoc.Prof. Ho Van Hoang - Director of IMPE-Quy Nhon made the opening speech at the ceremony

In his speech, Assoc.Prof. Ho Van Hoang, Director of IMPE-QN updated malaria situation in the world and Viet Nam and highlighted the importance and meaning of World Malaria Day 25 April. "In Viet Nam, with the concerns from the Ministry of Health, the malaria morbidity has recently decreased, but there still exists high risk of malaria epidemics. Particularly, in Central-West Highlands, malaria indexes are always higher than those of other regions and outbreaks can occur at anytime. The malaria control has met a lot of difficulties because of the uncontrollable mobilized populations such as forest goers, field-hut sleepers, border crossers", the director said.

Central Vietnam is the region hardest hit by malaria with high rates of malaria morbidity and mortality. This region is characterized by its socioeconomic difficulties and uncontrollable mobilized populations (forest goers, field-hut sleepers, border migrants). Regarding to the structure of malaria parasites, P. falciparum always makes up 60-70% of the Plasmodium species, which contributively causes severe malaria cases and deaths; P.vivax often causes chronic infections and relapses due to the reactivation of hypnozoites in the liver. Sustainable factors such as the socialization of malaria control, concerns of Party committees and local authorities are sometimes limited and have not been focused o­n. Grassroots health operations, especially at village health stations prove ineffective; the quality of technical measures such as insecticide spraying and impregnation is not good; the malaria epidemiological surveillance and case management are sometimes neglected. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria patients at the grassroots level are not well conducted in some places.   

At the ceremony, Assoc.Prof. Ho Van Hoang also emphasized that in order to effectively implement the national strategy for malaria prevention and elimination, it is necessary to focus o­n the specific measures and he suggested the CDC of 15 provinces in Central Vietnam as follows:

- To intensively direct grassroots health system to carry out malaria control, promote socialization, coordinate with other sectors to effectively implement malaria control, as well as coordinate with military medical forces and border guards to strengthen epidemiological surveillance, focusing o­n malaria areas at high risk such as deep-lying, remote and border areas;

- To effectively carry out the management and treatment of malaria cases: ensure right route and right dose of medication use, well implement the process of malaria patient surveillance, strictly comply the Ministry of Health's Guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of malaria; to enhance the quality of vector control measures;

- To consolidate and strengthen the village health networks, be concerned with the management of private health, carry out the health education and communication o­n malaria control and elimination in order to further accelerate the malaria elimination progress, get ready for the elimination of P.falciparum malaria by 2025 and of all malaria species by 2030.

              Dr. Mya Sapal Ngon, expert of WHO in Vietnam in her speech at the ceremony

              In her speech at the launching ceremony , Dr. Mya Sapal Ngon, the health expert of WHO stated: "Malaria elimination is not o­nly dependent o­n malaria service delivery, but it also linking it with a resilient and equitable health system. Strong health systems, and tailor the responses to the local context also play a critical role to further accelerate the malaria elimination agenda. WHO will continue to support Viet Nam o­n strengthening the surveillance system, capacity building, implementing concrete action across sectors, strengthening collaboration among agencies and technical partners and mobilizing resources to end malaria". Besides, WHO is calling for investments and innovation that bring new vector control approaches, diagnostics, antimalarial medicines and other tools to accelerate malaria elimination process to reach the milestones of Global technical strategy for malaria by 2030.

                       Dr. Tran Quang Phuc, Vice-Director of NIMPE in his speech at the ceremony
              At the launching ceremony, Dr. Tran Quang Phuc, Vice-director of NIMPE said: "Beside routine malaria control activities, we need to consider the local settings to evaluate the process and roadmap and tailor the approaches appropriately. And then, setting up specific measures and suitable roadmap for each locality; calling for new investments and mobilizing new resources from all levels of government".

It is hoped that the launching ceremony will have a positive influence o­n the people's awareness and behaviour in malaria control and mobilize relevant agencies and sectors to actively engage in malaria control and elimination activities in Central Vietnam.

Translated by An Khang and Nhu Quynh  


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