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Malaria control plan unveiled

CHINA'S Ministry of Health announced yesterday it has mapped out a draft plan to largely eradicate malaria by the end of 2015.

The major goal of the 2010-2015 plan is to reduce the incidence of malaria to below one confirmed case for every 10,000 people in the most seriously affected regions, and to zero in less affected areas.

The plan requires local health departments and medical institutions to use diagnostic technology, standardized treatment and health education to help prevention.

Central and local governments would be responsible for funding malaria-control programs, said an official with the ministry's disease control department.

About 24 million Chinese were infected with malaria in the early 1970s. By the late 1990s China was almost free of the disease, except for southwest China's Yunnan Province and southernmost Hainan Province, according to the ministry.

However, the disease has re-emerged in central and southern provinces such as Henan, Anhui and Hubei due to decreased efforts at prevention. A total of 26,358 cases and 22 deaths were reported nationwide last year.

The ministry classified malaria areas into two types. Level one regions - the most seriously affected - reported more than one case per 10,000 people annually between 2006 and 2008. Level two regions have less than one case for every 10,000 people.

The ministry wants all level one regions and 20 percent of level two regions to reduce the prevalence to below one per 10,000 by 2015, and 80 percent of level two regions to be free from malaria.

The ministry proposed stepping up malaria awareness and prevention efforts in affected areas, including spraying insecticide indoors and using mosquito nets impregnated with deltamethrin.

By 2015, the use of the specially treated bed nets should be introduced in 95 percent of level one regions, according to the plan, which was published on the ministry's Website on Wednesday.


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