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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tam Tam strikes at malaria

Tam Tam strikes at malaria

tamtam.jpg
tamtam.jpg

Tam Tam, one of Cambodia's most popular cartoon characters, has been enlisted by

the government and NGOs to teach children about malaria. His most important adventure

so far has been published in 'The Adventures of Tam Tam and Nakkroupette'.

Tan Tam and Nakkroupette join forces.

The book was launched in 16 provinces December 6 with 30,000 copies distributed to

schools. NGOs will train teachers how to use the book as an educational tool.

Mao Leakhena, the co-director's assistant at the malaria control project of the European

Commission - which funded the book - said most people in rural areas including Samlot,

where the adventure is set, do not believe mosquitoes cause malaria. She said most

villagers think spirits and forest terrain are to blame.

The general director for health at the Ministry of Health, Professor Eng Huot, said

that since combating malaria is a national priority, the organizations involved decided

to use an easily understood cartoon that deals with all aspects of malaria from prevention

to cure. MoH figures show that around 30,000 children a year are infected.

To keep the child-ren's attention, said Leakhena, the book comes with a contest,

which involves a comprehension test and a drawing competition. First prize is a one

week trip within Cambodia, including travel and accommodation.

The Post is reluctant to give away the ending, but it suffices to say that after

a brief struggle, Tam Tam and Nakkroup-ette (meaning 'nurse'), who is a National

Malaria Center health worker, succeed in convincing the good villagers of Samlot

of the real cause of malaria.

And, as you will find in any good children's story, they all live happily ever after.

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