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Conference on the summing-up of malaria control and elimination in Central Vietnam in 2023, and Announcement Ceremony of the decision on recognizing the achievement of malaria elimination criteria for Quang Ngai province

To summarize the activities of malaria control and elimination in 2023 and outline plans for malaria elimination in the future, the Institute of Malariology, Parasitology, and Entomology Quy Nhon (IMPE-QN) held the Conference o­n Summing-Up of Malaria Control and Elimination in Central Vietnam in 2023 o­n December 26th, 2023, in Quang Ngai City, Quang Ngai Province.

Participants in the conference included Assoc. Prof. Ho Van Hoang, Director of IMPE-QN; Dr. Tran Quang Phuc, Vice-Director of the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology, and Entomology (NIMPE); Dr. Pham Minh Duc, Director of the Department of Health of Quang Ngai Province; Dr. Phan Minh Dan, Vice-Director of the Department of Health of Quang Ngai Province; and Dr. Vo Thanh Tan, Director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of Quang Ngai Province. Additionally, directors, deputy directors, and specialized staff from the CDCs of 15 provinces in Central Vietnam, as well as healthcare centers in some key districts affected by malaria, also participated.

In his opening speech at the conference, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ho Van Hoang stated that in the past years, thanks to the concern, investment, and direction from the Ministry of Health, the National Malaria Control and Elimination Program (NMCEP), and the efforts of the healthcare sector, the damage caused by malaria has been reduced to a minimum. Following the orientation of the Ministry of Health, IMPE-QN and the local healthcare sectors have tirelessly worked to consolidate efforts towards achieving malaria elimination in the region as well as the whole country by 2030. By the end of 2023, Quang Ngai became the third province (out of 15 provinces in Central Vietnam) recognized to have achieved the criteria for malaria elimination. Other provinces have also strived to meet the targets for malaria control and elimination as outlined in the approved roadmap by the Ministry of Health.

 

Assoc.Prof. Ho Van Hoang, Director of IMPE-QN delivered the opening speech at the conference

According to the report o­n the results of malaria control and elimination in Central Vietnam in 2023, Dr. Nguyen Duy Son, Head of the Department of Epidemiology at IMPE-Quy Nhon, said that the region had always been considered a malaria hotspot in the whole country. Despite facing many difficulties and challenges, the activities of malaria control and elimination had achieved remarkable success.

Table 1. Numbers of Malaria Patients, Severe Malaria Cases, and Malaria Deaths in 2023 compared to the same period in 2022

Locations

Malaria patients

Severe malaria cases

Malaria deaths

2023

2022

(+;-)

%

(+;-)

2023

2022

%

(+;-)

2023

2022

%

(+; )

Quang Binh

2

6

-4

-66,67

0

0

 

0

0

 

Quang Tri

1

18

-17

-94,44

0

0

 

0

0

 

T.T - Hue

3

0

3

(+)

0

0

 

0

0

 

Da Nang

1

1

0

0,00

0

0

 

0

0

 

Quang Nam

3

1

2

200,00

0

0

 

0

0

 

Quang Ngai

0

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

 

Binh Dinh

2

2

0

0,00

0

0

 

0

0

 

Phu Yen

9

22

-13

-59,09

0

0

 

0

0

 

Khanh Hoa

186

10

176

1760,00

2

0

(+)

0

0

 

Ninh Thuan

9

5

4

80,00

0

0

 

0

0

 

Binh Thuan

4

2

2

100,00

0

0

 

0

0

 

Gia Lai

11

187

-176

-94,12

0

0

 

0

0

 

Kon Tum

2

4

-2

-50,00

0

0

 

0

0

 

Dak Lak

8

11

-3

-27,27

0

0

 

0

0

 

Dak Nong

5

8

-3

-37,50

0

0

 

0

0

 

Central Coastal Area

220

67

153

228,36

2

0

(+)

0

0

Central Highlands

26

210

-184

-87,62

0

0

0

0

Whole Region

246

277

-31

-11,19

2

0

(+)

0

0

The IMPE-QN reviewed the criteria for malaria elimination and assisted the CDC of Quang Ngai province in finalizing the documentation for the certification of malaria elimination by the end of 2023. Additionally, the Institute directed provinces to develop malaria elimination roadmaps and successfully organized a workshop to review the malaria elimination roadmap for Central Vietnam by 2030. Furthermore, Binh Dinh province is expected to achieve the criteria for malaria elimination by 2024.

The provinces have directed the improvement of the quality of technical measures in malaria control campaigns and the treatment of malaria patients according to the Guidelines o­n Malaria Diagnosis and Treatment (2023) and the Guidelines o­n Malaria Surveillance and Control (2021) issued by the Ministry of Health. Health facilities have instructed radical treatment and monitored the treatment of malaria patients.

Regarding the assessment of the results of malaria control and elimination in Viet Nam in 2023, Dr. Ngo Duc Thang (Head of the Epidemiology Department ? NIMPE) stated that the malaria situation nationwide in 2023 is stable, with 455 cases of malaria reported in the first 11 months of 2023, representing a decrease of 2.57% compared to the same period in 2022. Malaria cases are mainly distributed in the Central Vietnam and Lai Chau province in the northern mountainous region. Currently, 46 provinces/cities nationwide have achieved the criteria of malaria elimination. Therefore, these localities need to strengthen monitoring of imported and introduced malaria cases to prevent malaria re-introduction.

At the conference, Dr. Huynh Hong Quang, Deputy Director of IMPE-QN, presented the updated report o­n drug-resistant malaria parasites, including Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, and Plasmodium malariae, in Central Vietnam. The conference also heard a report o­n the malaria vector situation in the region presented by Dr. Do Van Nguyen. These reports provided crucial information related to malaria treatment, difficulties in using antimalarial drugs to address drug resistance, as well as challenges in malaria vector control and insecticide resistance. The information is deemed important to introduce specific and relevant recommendations for malaria control and elimination in the coming time.

 

Dr. Huynh Hong Quang, Deputy Director of IMPE-QN, in his presentation o­n drug-resistant malaria situation in Central Vietnam

The conference also listened to presentations from localities with significant malaria burden such as Khanh Hoa and Dak Lak, as well as reports o­n malaria elimination efforts and plans to prevent malaria re-establishment in Quang Ngai province. The presenters evaluated the overall implementation of malaria prevention and elimination goals in each locality and made some proposals and recommendations regarding difficulties in procuring laboratory supplies, insecticides, and anti-malarial drugs due to lack of specific guidance and a small quantity of procurement categories, the high number of population living in malaria-endemic areas, and challenges in monitoring and managing mobilized populations in malaria control.

In his concluding remarks at the Conference, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ho Van Hoang, Director of IMPE-QN, emphasized several important tasks for the near future:

- Continuously strengthen and improve personnel for the Departments of Parasitology and Entomology at provincial CDCs, enhance human resources for the prevention and control of malaria and other parasitic diseases, and vector control activities.

- Provincial CDCs need to proactively develop malaria prevention and elimination plans and submit them to the Department of Health for review and recommendation to provincial authorities regarding the technical standards of the plan.

- Provinces should be proactive in planning the supply of drugs, insecticides, and supplies to support malaria prevention and elimination activities at the local level.

- Improve the effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment activities for malaria cases, and reinforce the operations of microscopy points.

- After provinces have developed plans to prevent the re-introduction of malaria, NIMPE should promptly issue guidelines for local implementation, ensuring that imported malaria does not spread and become introduced, as well as indigenous malaria.

- In 2024, the Epidemiology Department of IMPE-QN and NIMPE are collaborating and supporting the development of malaria elimination records for Binh Dinh province.


Assoc. Prof. Ho Van Hoang, Director of IMPE-Quy Nhon, handed over the decision recognizing Quang Ngai province for achieving the malaria elimination criteria to the leadership of the provincial health services of Quang Ngai.

On this occasion, Assoc.Prof. Ho Van Hoang, Director of the IMPE-Quy Nhon announced and presented the Decision to recognize Quang Ngai province as having achieved the criteria for malaria elimination o­n a provincial scale.

01/02/2024
Translated by An Khang and Nhu Quynh  

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