Sunday, October 23 2016


Country lacks funds for malaria prevention drive

Update: May, 31/2016 - 19:00
Medical workers help residents impregnate their mosquito-nets with chemical substance to prevent malaria in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. – Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Funds from the State budget and international sponsors for malaria elimination initiatives have declined in recent years, creating difficulties for meeting the 2030 target, a conference here heard today.

In 2011, funds from the State budget for malaria prevention and control amounted to VNĐ105 billion (US$4.6 million) and funds from international sponsors reached more than VNĐ120 billion ($5.4 million), according to a report released by the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE) at the conference, which aimed to attract investment in malaria prevention and control in the country.

The funds reduced each year, and by last year, funds from the State budget amounted to only VNĐ60 billion ($2.6 million) and funds from international sponsors reached more than VNĐ129 billion ($5.7 million).

The funds would continue to fall in the coming period, raising challenges in conducting malaria prevention drives, associate professor Trần Thanh Dương, director of NIMPE, said.

As a result, the number of malaria cases and fatalities could soar. Malaria epidemics could break out in different provinces, especially in the Central and Central Highlands provinces, threatening 11.7 million residents in these areas.

Resistance to malaria drugs would also spread.

“The malaria prevention programme needs co-operation from the State, international organisations and local authorities at different levels to ensure the adoption of the National Strategy Programme on Malaria Prevention and Elimination,” Dương said.

Associate professor Nguyễn Văn Chương, director of the Quy Nhơn Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology in the central province of Bình Định, said to ensure the target of eliminating malaria by 2030, the State budget should issue at least VNĐ80 billion ($3.5 million) per year for the work.

Chương suggested calling for financial co-operation from the Ministry of Defence in protecting residents and soldiers on the frontiers of Việt Nam, Laos and Cambodia from malaria.

Interdisciplinary work should be conducted to attract manpower and assistance from different ministries, agencies and economic sectors, he said.

Malaria prevention and control in Việt Nam achieved satisfactory results over the past five years, according to the latest report of the NIMPE.

The number of malaria patients decreased from 45,588 cases in 2011 to 19,252 cases last year. Fatalities decreased from 14 in 2011 to three last year. No epidemics have occurred in the last five years.

But the disease remains a complex problem in the Central Highlands and south-eastern provinces, especially in the Gia Lai and Bình Phước provinces. These provinces are facing the problem of malaria drug resistance. Many of the residents in the Central Highlands provinces stay overnight in the forest after tilling the fields without any protection from mosquito bites. Emigration between provinces has also led to the disease spreading. — VNS

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