Individuals that work and sleep in remote forest and farm locations in the Greater Mekong Subregion continue to remain at high risk of both acquiring and transmitting malaria. These difficult-to-access population groups largely fall outside the reach of traditional village-centered interventions, presenting operational challenges for malaria programs. In Vietnam, over 60% of malaria cases are thought to be individuals who sleep in forests or on farms. New malaria elimination strategies are needed in countries where mobile and migrant workers frequently sleep outside of their homes. The aim of this study was to apply targeted surveillance-response based investigative approaches to gather location-specific data on confirmed malaria cases, with an objective to identify associated malaria prevention, treatment and risk behaviors of individuals sleeping in remote forest and farms sites in Vietnam.
Malaria in Vietnam has become focal to a few provinces, including Phu Yen. This study aimed to assess correlations between intervention (population proportion protected by insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying) and climatic variables with malaria incidence in Phu Yen Province. The Vietnam National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology, and Entomology provided incidence data for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax for 104 communes of Phu Yen Province from January 2005 to December 2016.
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have significantly contributed to reduce Plasmodium falciparum malaria burden in Vietnam, but their efficacy is challenged by treatment failure of dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine ACT in Southern provinces.
The complexity of mosquito-borne diseases poses a major challenge to global health efforts to mitigate their impact on people residing in sub-tropical and tropical regions, to travellers and deployed military personnel. To supplement drug- and vaccine-based disease control programmes, other strategies are urgently needed, including the direct control of disease vectors. Modern vector control research generally focuses on identifying novel active ingredients and/or innovative methods to reduce human-mosquito interactions. These efforts include the evaluation of spatial repellents, which are compounds capable of altering mosquito feeding behaviour without direct contact with the chemical source.
Adding 8-aminoquinoline to the treatment of falciparum, in addition to vivax malaria, in locations where infections with both species are prevalent could prevent vivax reactivation. The potential risk of haemolysis under a universal radical cure policy using 8-aminoquinoline needs to be weighed against the benefit of preventing repeated vivax episodes. Estimating the frequency of sequential Plasmodium vivax infections following either falciparum or vivax malaria episodes is needed for such an assessment.
The transition from malaria control to elimination requires understanding and targeting interventions among high-risk populations. In Vietnam, forest-goers are often difficult to test, treat and follow-up for malaria because they are highly mobile. If undiagnosed, forest-goers can maintain parasite reservoirs and contribute to ongoing malaria transmission.