Cambodia and China have stepped up collaboration on malaria prevention and elimination. An ongoing training course aims to provide health officials from 21 provinces with the knowledge and skills they need to better track, manage and treat the mosquito-borne illness.

In an October 23 social media announcement, the Ministry of Health explained that the course was conducted by instructors from the Kingdom’s National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, as well as additional staff from the General Department of Administration for Disease Prevention and Control of Hainan province, China.

The post added that the course will run for five days, from October 23-27. The 30 Cambodian health officials who are enrolled have toured the Malaria Control Centre and referral hospital in Kampong Speu province.

In addition to field visits, they will work alongside public health specialists at the Chambak Health Centre, and meet with volunteers who are treating malaria in Rumduol Thmei village.

Hok Kim Cheng, the health ministry’s technical director-general, said the training provided an opportunity for health officials to exchange knowledge and experiences and learn new skills from the instructors.

He called on the attendees to pay close attention, and reminded them of the ministry’s goal of eradicating malaria by 2025.

Nuth Sambath, president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s Institute of Medicine, Biology and Agriculture, believed the training was an excellent opportunity, as the Chinese side have a lot of experience in managing and treating malaria. China has also researched and produced very effective medicine to treat malaria, he added.

“It is very important that Cambodia cooperate with China to eliminate malaria. Although there are still some cases occurring, I believe this training will be very effective,” he said.

In August, the health ministry issued a warning which advised all relevant sides to pay close attention to managing malaria cases, especially those imported from other countries.

The malaria centre reported that in 2021, 4,279 cases of malaria were reported, down 54 per cent from the previous year. In 2022, there were 4,042 cases recorded, a decrease of 6 per cent.

In the 1980s, Cambodia saw over 170,000 cases, resulting in nearly 1,000 deaths. Since 2018, no malaria-related deaths have been recorded, a goal which Cambodia originally set for 2020.