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Cases of malaria up by 30,000

REPORTED malaria cases rose by 30,000 in 2009, resulting in 100 more deaths than the previous year, health officials said on Sunday.

Dr Duong Socheat, director of the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM), said there were over 80,000 malaria cases resulting in 300 deaths in the Kingdom last year, compared with 50,000 cases and 200 deaths in 2008.

He said the rise was caused by increased rainfall as well as by the fact that more people had been exposed to malaria-carrying mosquitoes as a growing number of soldiers and construction workers were deployed to high-risk forested areas in Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Stung Treng, Kratie, Kampong Cham and Koh Kong provinces.

Tol Bunkea, chief of the CNM’s epidemiology department, said a full report detailing the end-of-year figures would be released in March.

Duong Socheat said the CNM had been successful in decreasing the spread of malaria by about 60 or 70 percent in the eight years from 2000 to 2008, and he was optimistic about the success of a national campaign aimed at completely eliminating malaria deaths by 2020.

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