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Dengue, malaria eradication eyed in Prey Lang area

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Minister of Environment Say Sam Al (left) vowed to eliminate vector-borne diseases from the natural protected area in Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo supplied

Dengue, malaria eradication eyed in Prey Lang area

The Ministry of Environment is committed to eliminating malaria and other vector-borne diseases from the natural protected area in Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary by 2025. This is in line with the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Malaria 2011-2025.

The ministry’s Facebook post on Tuesday said it would also eliminate other infectious diseases such as dengue fever from the community.

Its minister Say Sam Al said this when speaking to hundreds of rangers and residents during a visit to the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary management and wildlife sanctuary preservation officials in Kampong Thom province on Tuesday.

“Eliminating vector-borne diseases, taking into consideration food security and nutrition, and access to education is fundamental to improving the lives of local communities,” Sam Al said in the post.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post on Wednesday that it plans to educate and guide rangers and residents living in the 19 communities in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, where an estimated 100 rangers work.

Pheaktra, who is also ministry secretary of state, said: “We educate them to be cautious and sleep in the protective dyed mosquito nets which we distributed. The most important thing is to ensure the cleanliness and hygiene of the areas they live in.

“They are also encouraged not to sleep out of the protective nets, because in the forest, there may be female Anopheles mosquitoes, which are an infectious agent of malaria.”

The ministry’s Facebook post said a sub-decree dated May 9, 2016, designated Prey Lang as a wildlife sanctuary spanning 431,683ha.

It is located in the geographical area of Kampong Thom, Kratie, Preah Vihear and Stung Treng provinces.

This designation was made after the management authority’s power was transferred from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the Ministry of Environment in April 2016.

The Ministry of Environment also posted on Facebook that this year, it had officially recognised 19 protected communities with tens of thousands of people living in and near the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary.

The purpose is to increase their participation in managing the sustainable use of natural resources and improving the livelihoods of local communities.

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s message on Malaria Day on April 25 was cited in the annual report of the public health service of the national programme on anti-malaria.

The report said malaria cases in Cambodia up to 2018 had decreased by 85 per cent and fatalities had reduced by 99 per cent following the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Malaria (2011 to 2025).

Cambodian Youth Network deputy president Sar Mory told The Post on Wednesday that the Ministry of Environment should work closely with the Ministry of Health in deploying malaria physicians in all villages and communes in and around the Prey Lang area.

Both ministries should improve the quality of medical consultation and provide blood examination and medicine in the villages. They should also increase public awareness of malaria prevention methods.

Mory said most residents living around the Prey Lang area drink water that is not properly filtered or boiled.

They drink water from the streams and lake directly and can also fall ill because of this, Mory said.

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