Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The southern province of Bình Phước and several Central Highlands provinces are stepping up preventive measures as the number of malaria cases has risen since the beginning of the year, according to local centres for malariology-parasitology-entomology.
A report from the Centre for Malariology-Parasitology-Entomology in Gia Lai Province found that malaria has occurred in all districts, towns and its major city.
Nearly 400 patients have been diagnosed with malaria, an increase of 110 per cent compared to the same period last year. Of these, one had acute malaria in Đức Cơ District, but the patient recovered.
Dr Rơ Mah Huân, the centre’s director, said that abnormal weather conditions had created favourable conditions for the development of mosquitoes.
The increase in malaria incidences is partly due to people sleeping without mosquito nets near mountainous or forested areas.
In la Pa District, 86 per cent of malaria cases have been men who were working in the forest or areas near mountains, Huân said.
Dr Trương Thanh Liêm, vice director of Kông Pa District Health Centre, said the district’s number of incidences had increased by 91 since the beginning of the year compared to last year.
Many of the people infected had been looking for aloe wood in Đắk Lắk Province.
Hoàng Hải Phúc, head of the Centre for Malariology-Parasitology-Entomology in Đắk Lắk Province, said that 187 patients with malaria were reported in the first seven months of the year, an increase of 76 patients compared to the same period last year.
Many of them were in the districts of Ea Kra, Ea Súp, Buôn Đôn, Krông Năng, Ea H’Leo and others.
With the province seeing an upward trend of malaria incidences, it is facing difficulties in prevention and control, Phúc said.
To destroy mosquitoes that are vectors of transmission, spraying of chemicals should be carried out in April and September each year in the province, he said.
But the province’s health department has not budgeted for spraying, he said, adding that 600 litres of chemicals are needed.
Chemicals have been sprayed in Ea Kar District’s communes of Ea Sô and Ea Sar, which are hotspots for malaria.
The centre has received 100 additional litres from the Quy Nhơn Institute for Malariology-Parasitology-Entomology in Bình Định Province for spraying in Ea Súp, Buôn Đôn, Krông Năng, and Ea H’Leo where there are a high number of incidences.
More malaria cases are expected as rains continue, Phúc said, adding that if there are no chemicals, malaria will not be controlled.
The province’s health department has warned that local residents need to be more aware of preventive methods against the disease.
People staying in mountain fields or entering forests are advised to sleep on hammocks with mosquito net.
If they have a fever, they should go to the nearest health facility for timely treatment.
In Gia Lai Province, the Quy Nhơn Institute for Malariology-Parasitology-Entomology plans to provide 280 litres of chemicals for spraying and for use on mosquito nets to protect 80,000 people in the province.
The Việt Nam Global Fund Malaria Control Project also will provide 15,000 mosquito nets and hammocks for people in communes with a high number of malaria cases.
The provincial People’s Committee has approved nearly VNĐ600 million (US$25,700) for preventive methods in districts of Đức Cơ, la Grai, Kbang, Kông Chro, la Pa and Krông Pa.
The centre has set up many teams for disease surveillance and has worked with television stations to enhance communication.
Bình Phước Province has also stepped up preventive methods against many diseases, including malaria.
At least 973 patients with malaria have been reported in the first six months of the year in the province, an increase of 66.6 per cent against the same period last year. — VNS