Malaria in Vietnam

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Vietnam is a country that is affected by malaria so if you are considering a trip to the area, you need to visit your doctor 2 months in advance to get the correct malaria tablets to protect you against this disease.

Not all of Vietnam is affected by malaria and there are a number of regions that have been deemed malaria free. These include Hanoi, Nha trang, Qui Nhon, Haiphong, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue and Can Tho. Therefore, prophylaxis is issued to anyone that travels to other areas of the country.  The Mekong delta does have some rare cases of malaria but the number is so low that prophylaxis is not needed and insect protection methods should be used.

Plasmodium falciparum is accountable for three quarters of the malaria cases in the country and plasmodium Vivax is responsible for the other quarter. Mefloquine, Malarone or Doxycycline are usually prescribed for Vietnam. However, it does depend what part of the country you are visiting because some regions are resistant to Mefloquine. These areas include the southern provinces such as Dac Lac, Gia Lai, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Tay Ninh, Kon Tum and Song Be. Therefore you must be specific in telling the doctor exactly which part of Vietnam you are visiting and whether you will be travelling around the country.

Insect protection measures are essential in malaria infected regions, especially if you are not staying somewhere with sufficient air conditioning. Make sure you shut all doors and windows to your room, sleep in a mosquito net and wear loose long sleeved clothing. Mosquitoes are particularly active between dusk and dawn so it is advised to remain indoors during this time. Make sure you take your full course of malaria tablets to ensure that you are protected from malaria. No method is 100% effective at preventing malaria.

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