The National Centre for Malaria Control, Parasitology and Malaria Control, in collaboration with the Mondulkiri provincial health department and the Pech Chreada district authority, celebrated National Malaria Day last week, focused on eradicating malaria through investment in recycling.

Yan Samnang, deputy governor of Pech Chreada district, recommended that health officials prioritise services in remote areas, particularly for vulnerable groups such as children needing vaccines, pregnant women, elderly individuals without support, and regardless of political affiliation, race, or ethnicity.

Citing data from the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control’s report, Lek Sovannaroth, deputy director of the Mondulkiri provincial health department said that more than 4,000 malaria cases were recorded across the country last year, with no malaria-related fatalities. The figure indicates a six per cent decline compared to 2021, which had 4,276 cases.

He said in Mondulkiri province alone, there were 494 cases in 2022, a 12 per cent reduction compared to 2021’s 563 cases.

Sovannaroth said that malaria cases were scattered throughout the province, with Keo Seima and Koh Nhek districts experiencing the highest number of cases, predominantly affecting men aged 15 to 49. Notably, there have been no malarial deaths in Mondulkiri province since 2014, thanks to improved management and timely treatment seeking due to heightened awareness.

He highlighted the positive trend of malaria cases in the first five months of this year, with only 86 cases, signifying the effectiveness of interventions and response in achieving malaria elimination indicators by 2025.

Prime Minister Hun Sen emphasized the need to accelerate the second phase of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Malaria (2011-2025) during National Malaria Day held in April under the theme “Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement”. While progress has been made, efforts must continue in order to achieve the goal.

The Malaria elimination action plan 2021-2025 was approved by the Ministry of Health in 2021 and has been implemented for two years, yielding fruitful results through collaboration among the national centre, relevant ministries, departments, investment partners, and national and international implementation partners, he noted.