Malaria can be completely eliminated from the Kingdom by 2025 if civil society cooperates with the Ministry of Health’s plans, Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday in an address to mark World Malaria Day.
In the address, directed to all citizens, Hun Sen stressed that malaria remains a dangerous disease that affects not only public health, but also economic development in Cambodia.
“Malaria does not just affect economics through personal spending on treatment, but it also affects the macro economic: business, tourism and investment,” he said. “We cannot accept this situation anymore while we have enough ability and effectiveness to help the people who face malaria in the remote areas in the Kingdom.”
The premier’s address declared that the Cambodian government had been able to reduce mortality rates for malaria from 6.29 per cent to 0.67 per cent in 2011, beating its Millennium Development Goal target of reducing the rate to 0.78 per cent by 2015.
Malaria is currently endemic in Cambodia.
Doctor Char Meng Chuor, director of the National Centre for Malaria, said he supported the government’s goal and expected Cambodia would be able to reach a goal of malaria elimination by 2025.
“We can reach the goals because we have the willingness to do so, enough resources and participation from the relevant institutes and villagers,” he said yesterday.
He also stressed that success depended upon cooperation and participation in government initiatives by villagers living in at-risk areas.
To mark the day, Ministry of Health officials also traveled on an education drive to Pailin province’s Samlot district to a commune where malaria cases had increased more than 60 per cent in recent times due to the high number of internal migrants living in the area.
In the first three months of 2012, 19,049 people had contracted malaria and 25 people had died, compared with 23,730 cases in the first three months of last year and 23 deaths.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at email@example.com