December 13, 2017

Campaign for malaria-free Myanmar in 2030 under way

Dr. Aung Thi delivers the speech at the meeting for the one-week-long malaria prevention campaign. Photo: Kyaw Ye Swe

Outbreaks of malaria in Myanmar have decreased, and the campaign for a malaria-free Myanmar in 2030 is under way, according to a meeting for the one-week-long malaria prevention campaign held under the sponsorship of Asia-Pacific Malaria Elimination Network.
“The campaign for a malaria-free Myanmar in 2030 is under implementation. Presently, rate of the outbreak of malaria cases in Myanmar was reduced by 85 per cent of that of 2012. In the past, there were nearly 600,000 patients suffering from malaria. According to the statistics of the previous year, the rate of outbreaks of malaria was found to have been reduced markedly. Only two out of every 1,000 people now suffer from the illness. According to the statistics of the National Malaria Elimination Project, the outbreak rate is one in one thousand and NMEP and its partner organisations, two in one thousand. The mortality rate is 0.04 per cent in 0.1 million people. In figures, there were 110,000 malaria patients in the whole country. Out of them, only 21 died. We will reduce the outbreak rate by 85 per cent and mortality rate by 95 per cent so that the country will be totally free from malaria cases in 2030”, said Dr. Aung Thi, the National Malaria Elimination Project manager. “For now, all the townships are designated as places likely to be affected by the malaria, so that malaria can be uprooted. But, Kachin and Rakhine states and Sagaing Region are the most-affected regions, whereas the remaining regions including Nay Pyi Taw can be designated as malaria-free zones in 2020. Later on, the places where malaria cases broke out will be designated as the focal zone and carried out to be totally free from the diseases in 2030”, he added.
The meeting for the one-week-long malaria prevention campaign will be held from 4 to 8 December. On 6 December there will be a senior-level officials’ meeting, and on 7 December there will be a meeting of Directors-General on Health, in preparation for the Greater Mekong Sub-regions Health Ministers’ Meeting. On 8 December there will be the GMS Health Ministers’ Meeting.
The meetings will be participated in discussions by Health Ministers and high-ranking officials from over 30 countries of the Asia-Pacific Region and partner countries. The results of the discussion will be released after the GMS Health Ministers’ Meeting, it was learnt.
“The meeting was arranged to be held in Myanmar to make people more convinced of malaria. The five-day-long meeting will be attended by 30 countries in Asia-Pacific Region. In the World Health Assembly to be held in May 2018, where all the ministers will attend, it is designated for all Health Ministers of GMS countries to sign the Declaration,” Dr. Aung Thi explained.
Dr Aye Yu Soe of the Three Millennium Development Goal Fund, who attended the meeting, said, “Malaria was a common illness in Myanmar, and now the rate of outbreaks of the disease has remarkably decreased. In 2016, there were only 0.1 million patients in the country left. It is designated as the malaria-free Myanmar in 2030, in all countries including Myanmar. Rural health volunteers have been trained to give treatment to patients in villages around the clock. They all had been given equipment for testing blood for malaria examination. If a patient suspected of malaria illness is found, the said volunteer health staff will make the blood test and will give treatment promptly right after the patient is found. The drugs will be given out free of charge. This is the successful result.”

 

Shin Min/Mi Phyo

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