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Diagnostics crucial to Vietnam malaria successes:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Early diagnosis is crucial in the fight against malaria, a disease which kills two million people a year worldwide. This is the conclusion of a study conducted in the province of Binh Thuan, in southern Vietnam, where the incidence of malaria has fallen from 42% to 4% over the last five years. The study reported in the August issue of the bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO), documents the crucial importance of introducing a primary care testing programme to control the disease. The technology available "can be very effective but only if it is used fully and on a continuous basis", said Dr Kamini Mendis, of the WHO's malaria programme. Other basic anti-malarial strategies, such as the introduction of bednets, cannot alone achieve the "rapid decline of malaria" observed since the introduction of the testing, the study concludes.

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