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Efforts to be exerted towards malaria elimination by 2030

Efforts to be exerted towards malaria elimination by 2030

Policy advocacy will be promoted, along with efforts to call for financial and human resources for the prevention and control of malaria, parasitic and insect-transmitted diseases to successfully eliminate malaria in Vietnam by 2030, heard a conference held by the Ministry of Health and PATH, a global non-profit organisation on public health, in Hanoi on March 22.

The conference aims to contributing to, through the strengthened communications and policy advocacy, ensuring sustainable finance for malaria elimination, prevention and control, preventing malaria's return, and updating new and effective treatment methods.

According to the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE), over the past 30 years, the National Programme on Malaria Prevention and Control has reaped remarkable achievements. In 1991, malaria broke out throughout the country with more than 1 million infections, killing 4,646 people. In 2022, the number of malaria patients was only 455, including one death, and no malaria epidemic broke out. To date, 42 provinces and cities have been recognised to be free from malaria.

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 drug-resistant malaria virus; population mobility, chemical resistant mosquitoes, and modest resources for malaria prevention, control and elimination.

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 chemical 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 return of the disease to the 42 malaria-free localities, while enhancing the quality of efforts to prevent parasitic and insect-transmitted diseases.

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 diseases, building a distribution map of mosquitoes, and calling for assistance from international organisations for the work./.