The WHO has named Vietnam among countries that have successfully eliminated elephantiasis as a public health problem.
Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien received a certificate for the elimination from the World Health Organization in Manila on Monday.
“Lymphatic filariasis (elephant edema) was once an endemic disease in some areas of Vietnam, putting millions of people at risk.Thanks to decades of support from WHO and other development partners, we have achieved the goal of 'Vietnam is free of systemic filariasis', Mr. Tien said. '.
References to elephantiasis in Vietnam date back more than a century.
With improvements in housing, increased use of nets, and selective treatment, infections gradually decreased.Thanks to an annual mass treatment campaign conducted from 2002 to 2008 and continuous surveillance, transmission of the disease was contained in the remaining endemic areas.
Since last year, Vietnam has established a pioneering training program to ensure sustainable care for people with complications from mosquito-borne diseases.
Elephantiasis is painful and often leads to permanent disfigurement and disability, causing people to lose their livelihoods and suffer from stigma, depression and anxiety.
According to WHO Western Pacific Region, it is one of 15 neglected tropical diseases circulating in the region.
Since the launch of the Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Fibroids in 2000, 11 countries and territories have succeeded in eliminating lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem: Cambodia , China, Cook Islands, Niue, Marshall Islands, Korea, Tonga, Vanuatu, Futuna and more recently Palau, Wallis and Vietnam.
The disease is still endemic in 13 countries and regions in the region: American Samoa, Brunei, Darussalam, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, the Federated States of Micronesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Tuvalu.
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