WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 75-80

Mass primaquine preventive treatment for control of Plasmodium vivax malaria in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: a country success story

1 Office of the WHO Representative, 14-Munsudong, Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
2 Ministry of Public Health, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
3 Office of the WHO Representative, Bangkok, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Shushil Dev Pant
Office of the WHO Representative, 14-Munsudong, Pyongyang
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206889

PMID: 28607259

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In 1998, the resurgence of Plasmodium vivax malaria in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea quickly increased to an epidemic, with 601 013 cases reported I during 1999–2001. The introduction of mass primaquine preventive treatment (MPPT) in 2002 was followed by a rapid reduction of malaria disease burden. The intervention has been well accepted by the community. Doctors were part of a strong functional health system with the ability to deliver interventions at the household J level. MPPT was considered for control of malaria after a study conducted in two J neighbouring endemic villages (ris) involving 320 healthy adults demonstrated that presence of parasitaemia was significantly lower among those receiving MPPT than those who did not. Similarly, in a mass blood survey conducted in the study sites during May, 2002 involving 5138 persons in study and 4215 in comparison areas, the total positive results were 7–10 times rarer in the treatment group both before and after the malaria transmission season. In addition, the number of malaria cases in the MPPT treatment ris was strikingly lower than control ris in every month during the malaria transmission season of 2002. The prevalence of G6PDD deficiency in DPR Korea is low, haemolytic events are rare and deaths due to MPPT have not been reported. MPPT in itself is a powerful intervention and the decision to deploy it depends on the epidemiology of malaria, urgency of malaria control and resources available in the country.

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