Malaria is a protozoal parasitic disease caused by one of four Plasmodium species and spread by female anopheline mosquitoes. The commonest forms of malaria in Vietnam are caused by Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum. The latter is the most severe form, causing between one and three million deaths worldwide each year. Clinical features include a prodromal period of 'flu-like symptoms such as lassitude, headache, muscle aches and abdominal pain, followed two to eight hours later by fever and rigors. Clinically, malaria is categorised as either ‘uncomplicated’ or ‘severe’, defined according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria.
The research programme, in collaboration with HTD, the Health Service and Malaria Control Programme of Binh Phuoc Province, and the Institute of Malaria, Parasitology and Entomology, HCMC, focuses on clinical trials, monitoring of drug susceptibility, host susceptibility to disease, and in vitro culture of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.