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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian-Thai talks address malaria cases

Cambodian-Thai talks address malaria cases

PUBLIC health officials from Cambodia and Thailand are holding a conference this week in Siem Reap province to discuss containment of the increasing number of malaria cases along the border between the two countries.

Duong Socheat, director of National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (NCPEMC), told the Post on Thursday that health officials from 10 provinces in Cambodia and seven provinces in Thailand are meeting in the hope of formulating a coordinated strategy to fight the disease.

"We are meeting ... in order to share our experiences and compare our methods for educating people about malaria, spreading awareness about fake medicines and encouraging more people to visit health centres," Duong Socheat said.

Growing concerns
Malaria-related deaths in the Kingdom nearly doubled during the first six months of 2009 compared with the first six months of 2008, according to an NCPEMC report.

From January to June this year, there were 103 deaths from 27,105 reported cases of malaria. From January to June last year, there were only 65 deaths from 25,033 reported cases, the NCPEMC said.

The report attributed the increased fatality rate to an early rainy season and a delay in distributing mosquito nets, though fears have been stoked recently by findings that malaria strains in western Cambodia are developing resistance to artemisinin, the drug typically used as the first line of defense in malaria cases.

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