The World Health Organization, at a conference in Manila on Monday, presented Cambodia with an award for being among the four latest countries to have eliminated lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis or “big foot disease”.
“By eliminating this disabling scourge and ensuring that there will be no more new cases in the next generation, these countries have also banished a significant cause of poverty,” Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific region, said in the statement.
In its own statement, the Ministry of Health said it was “proud to receive this award”. The ministry said the disease used to be a problem in remote provinces, such as Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng, and ministry spokesman Ly Sovann said officials had launched mass measures in the endemic provinces to prevent the disease.
The disease damages the body’s lymphatic system, which leads to disfigurement, pain and disability, according to the WHO.