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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaria Refuse to Abide by UNTAC Cease-Fire

Malaria Refuse to Abide by UNTAC Cease-Fire

(AP) -A t least 385 U.N. personnel in Cambodia reported contracting malaria in August,

according to U.N. spokesman Eric Falt.

Three of the 15,000 personnel here for the U.N. peacekeeping mission have died of

the mosquito-borne disease since the operation began in March, said Falt.

He stressed that the cases reported last month were not necessarily laboratory-confirmed

but might have been clinical cases, in which the patients showed signs of the disease

and responded to treatment but might have had negative blood tests or not had a blood

test taken.

The U.N.'s figures for August do not include reports from the 3,416 members of the

French, Indonesian and Uruguayan infantry battalions because they had not been compiled,

Falt said.

Statistics from previous months also had not been compiled.

U.N. peacekeepers from about 40 countries are stationed throughout Cambodia, including

malaria-infested areas in the north and west.

They have been told to use repellents, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and

sleep under mosquito nets sprayed with repellent. Some countries also have ordered

their contingents to take anti-malaria drugs even though many of the country's mosquitos

are resistant to most, if not all, of the available drugs.

The disease has for years taken a toll on Cambodians, most of whom have no access

to drugs for treatment, much less non-resistant prevention.

In 1991, 115,701 Cambodians were reported to have contracted the disease-1,161 fatally-according

to the Ministry of Health. But the center said the death toll from malaria could

have been as high as 10,000, taking into account unreported cases.

A soldier from the Cambodian People's Armed Forces (CPAF) turns his rifle over

to an UNTAC soldier in Phnom Penh. By late last month CPAF forces had released 38,400

soldiers from various cantonment sites across the country to lead a civilian life

under an agriculture leave programme, according to SPK, the official news agency

of the State of Cambodia.

The released soldiers-7,779 officers and 30,621 enlisted men- were given three-to-six

month allowances and will be called back to the cantonment sites for the final demobilization

under the supervision of UNTAC. The soldiers were required to turn in their identification

cards to ensure their return.



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