Tran Vu Thieu Nga, Pham Thanh Duy, Nguyen Phu Huong Lan, Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, and Stephen Baker.
Typhoid fever, caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), is a diminishing public health problem in Vietnam, and this process may represent a prototype for typhoid elimination in Asia. Here, we review typhoid epidemiology in Vietnam over 20 years and assess the potential drivers associated with typhoid reduction. In the 1990s, multidrug resistant S. Typhi were highly prevalent in a sentinel hospital in southern Vietnam. The Vietnamese government recognized the public health issue of typhoid in the 1990s and initiated vaccine campaigns to protect the most vulnerable members of the population. Concurrently, Vietnam experienced unprecedented economic development from 1998 to 2014, with the gross national income per capita increasing from $360 to $1,890 over this period. More recent typhoid incidence data are not available, but surveillance suggests that the current disease burden is negligible. This trajectory can be considered a major public health success. However, a paucity of systematic data makes it difficult to disaggregate the roles of immunization and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions in typhoid reduction in Vietnam.
The reduction of typhoid fever in Vietnam has been remarkable, and has been largely driven by economic development and improved living standards for the population. Better designed WASH intervention studies with disease endpoints and systematic incidence data are required to glean a greater understanding of the precise contextual factors that impact on typhoid fever incidence.
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