VIENTIANE, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- There has been over 5,600 of malaria cases so far this year in Laos, loca media reported Tuesday.
According to local daily Vientiane Times report, the update was reported at the meeting to summarize the work of Lao Ministry of Health over the past year and discuss the plans for 2020 in Vangvieng district, Vientiane province from Monday to Friday.
Lao Deputy Minister of Health Phouthone Muongpak, Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under Lao Ministry of Health Lattanaxay Phetsouvanh, and Viengxay Vanisaveth, acting director of the Center of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, are attending the meeting along with health officials and representatives of international organizations.
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. In 2019, there have been 5,600 infections, a reduction of 30.73 percent compared to 2018 and no reported deaths, said the report.
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.
In 2018, health officials focused their efforts on malaria prevention and to control, surveillance, analysis, and health education campaigns in at-risk provinces.
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."
The best way to prevent malaria infection is to avoid mosquito bites such as sleeping under insecticide-treated nets.
One reason people in rural area get malaria is that they spend a lot of time in forests finding forest products and other items they can sell.