U.S. Supports Vietnam to Control and Eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases
HANOI, September 8, 2011 – Vietnam launched a new activity with U.S. support Thursday to take further steps to eliminate and control neglected tropical diseases, including elephantiasis, trachoma, and intestinal worms.
“Vietnam has made impressive achievements in controlling neglected tropical diseases,” U.S. Ambassador David Shear told a gathering of health experts sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). “This success can and must be documented and shared to help other countries achieve similar results.”
In Vietnam, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) and trachoma (eye infection) control programs have been successfully implemented over the past 10 years. According to the World Health Organization, Vietnam will prepare to take the final steps to confirm that elephantiasis and trachoma have been eliminated, respectively, in 2014 and 2016. In addition, helminthiasis, soil transmitted helminth and food-borne trematode diseases (intestinal worms) are still major public health concerns and need to be tracked.
In order to review the latest information on the diseases and call for international cooperation, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health organized the two-day stakeholders meeting for programs to eliminate lymphatic filariasis and trachoma and support de-worming activities.
Also as part of the collaboration with the Vietnam’s National Institute of Malaria, Parasitology and Entomology and Ministry of Health, USAID will provide technical assistance to strengthen and expand national control efforts, including a series of surveys, surveillance activities and training on care for elephantiasis patients -- the final step before elimination is certified.
USAID will work with the Ministry of Health to coordinate de-worming activities and fill gaps in coverage. USAID activities will include national prevalence surveys for school-age children and mass drug administration in 13 provinces.