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Malaria risk posed by Vietnamese workers coming back from Africa
Publication Date : 13-08-2013
Around 90 Vietnamese labourers have been hospitalised with malaria during the past three months after returning from guest worker programmes in Africa.
The patients are said to come from northern provinces, including Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Ha Nam, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh and even Ha Noi, according to Ngo Duc Thang, head of the Epidemiology Department of the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology.
The high incidence of malaria in returning labourers sounded the alarm of the spread of the disease through African guest workers. Thang added that the outbreak had exceeded previous levels of malaria in guest workers.
"So far this year three Africa guest workers have died of malaria as they did not take any measure to prevent the disease such as using mosquito nets when working in African countries", Thang said.
The latest fatality was recorded in the capital city around two weeks ago. Nguyen Van Nam from Ung Hoa District died at Bach Mai Hospital a month after returning from Angola.
Another case was reported in May with Tran Quoc Thai, 58, suffering breathing difficulties four days after returning from a 10-year stint in Angola. Thai has since recovered after being treated with antimalarial drug Quinin.
According to the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, the incubation period can vary from two weeks up to several years.
It is recommended patients seek medical attention as soon as symptoms appear, including fever and cold shivers.
"Vietnamese workers should undergo medical check-ups before and after working abroad", Thang said, adding the institute had proposed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs warn Vietnamese guest workers about the risks of the disease.
In the first half of the year alone, nearly 17,000 cases of malaria were reported, down 15 per cent from last year, according to data from the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology.