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22.5 pct Vietnamese lives in malaria-endemic areas: official


14:18, April 24, 2013

HANOI, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Malaria control in Vietnam remains a big challenge as there are nearly 20 million people living in malaria-endemic areas, accounting for 22.5 percent of the country' s population.

Nguyen Van Binh, Head of the Health Ministry's Preventive Health Department, made the statement at a ceremony to launch World Malaria Day which falls on April 25 in the central and Central Highlands regions, the country's hotspots of malaria.

In 2012, seven of the eight deaths of malaria nationwide were reported in these regions, local online Voice of Vietnam quoted Binh as saying on Wednesday.

The situation was attributable to low capacity of the grassroots healthcare system, people's awareness in preventing malaria, insecticide-resistant mosquitoes, and cross-border exchanges in hyper-endemic areas seasonal movements, Binh added.

According to Tran Cong Dai, an expert of the World Health Organization in Vietnam, early diagnosis, correct and timely treatment, sleeping in insecticide-soaked mosquito nets and spraying anti-mosquito chemicals are basic preventive measures.

The government needs to continue its investment in malaria control efforts in order to maintain achievements and completely eliminate the disease in the future, he said.

The ceremony was co-organized by the Quy Nhon Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology and the Phu Yen provincial people's committee on Tuesday.

In 2012, Vietnam reported around 44,000 malaria-infected cases with eight deaths, according to the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology.

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