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Over 5,600 malaria cases recorded nationwide this year

Vientiane province: There have been over 5,600 of malaria cases so far this year across the country, but fortunately no deaths as the number of infections continue to drop.
The update was reported at the meeting to summarise the work of the Ministry of Health over the past year and discuss the plans for 2020 in Vangvieng district, Vientiane province from December 16-20.

Deputy Minister of Health, Associate Prof. Dr Phouthone Muongpak; Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under the Ministry of Health, Dr Lattanaxay Phetsouvanh, and Acting Director of the Centre of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, Dr Viengxay Vanisaveth are attending the meeting along with health officials and representatives of international organisations.
So far this year, no deaths have been reported from malaria infection due largely to the national strategy to eradicate malaria by 2030, according to the Ministry of Health.
In 2018, there were 8,084 malaria cases nationwide, resulting in six deaths while this year, there have been 5,600 infections, a reduction of 30.73 percent compared to 2018 and no reported deaths.
Nevertheless, officials said preventive measures must still be continued, especially with the higher infection rate in the five southern provinces.
Malaria prevention and control is a priority of the Ministry of Health with a substantial budget allocated to undertake control activities against mosquitos that spread the fever.
Last year, health officials focused their efforts on malaria prevention and to control, surveillance, analysis, and health education campaigns in at-risk provinces.
Dr Viengxay Vanisaveth said “This year we have successfully carried out many activities under the strategy to prevent and control malaria infection, especially the effective diagnosis and treatment of patients in rural communities who have received early treatment,”
“We also ran health education campaigns in the targeted villages reducing malaria, and no deaths were recorded this year,” he said.
The best way to prevent malaria infection is to avoid mosquito bites such as sleeping under insecticide-treated nets.
Since January 2012, the number of malaria cases reported in the provinces of Khammuan, Savannakhet, Champassak, Xekong, Saravan and Attapeu has exceeded the outbreak threshold. One reason people get malaria is that they spend a lot of time in forests finding forest products and other items they can sell.

By Phomphong Laoin
(Latest Update December 17, 2019)

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