Malaria outbreaks may occur in country: Ministry

At a national meeting on sustainable investment for malaria prevention in Hanoi on May 13, Vietnamese Ministry of Health warned of a possible outbreak of malaria as the country has around 15 million living in the disease-prone districts and there have been malaria drug-resistance in five provinces.

The ministry said it is likely that malaria outbreak will re-occur meantime health experts expressed their concern that funding from the State Budget and international donors shrank causing a lessening of efforts to prevent the spread of malaria in the country.

Dr. Tran Dac Phu, head of the Ministry’s Department of Preventive Medicine, said that in the 2010 - 2013 period, the funding from the state budget for malaria prevention and control was VND100 billion (US$4,594,944) annually. 

The ministry’s statistics showed that malaria infection rates had fallen to 3/10,000 people in 2014, from 155/10,000 people in 1991. Also, the number of malaria fatalities had been reduced since past six years, compared to nearly 5,000 in the 1990s.

Around 11 million people have been protected annually thanks to the use of mosquito killing insecticides, along with about one million doses of malaria medicine being provided free of charge to those living in malaria-infected areas.

Every year, the country has an average of nearly 30,000 malaria cases including 110 acute malaria and deaths. Worse, the majority of inhabitants in the disadvantaged disease-affected areas are  poor people and the ethnic minority groups.

However,  there has been a reduction of 50 per cent in the State budget' fund during 2014-2015, along with less international financing in the coming years, would threaten the continuation of reducing malaria across the country, said Dr. Phu.

By MINH KHANG – translated by Anh Quan

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