Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Events to be held in Mondulkiri to mark World Malaria Day




Events to be held in Mondulkiri to mark World Malaria Day

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A malaria worker attaches a mosquito warning sign to a hut in a Pailin village. A series of events intended to raise awareness of malaria will be held on Monday in Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district. AFP

Events to be held in Mondulkiri to mark World Malaria Day

A series of events intended to raise awareness of malaria will be held on Monday in Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district, one of the Kingdom’s few remaining endemic areas for the disease.

The events are scheduled to commemorate the upcoming World Malaria Day on Thursday.

The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Cambodia Representative Office on Friday issued a joint statement, saying this year’s theme – Zero Malaria Starts with Me – is about keeping malaria high on the political agenda and promoting community empowerment for taking ownership of malaria prevention and care.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said the events aim “to encourage everyone, especially mobile and migrant populations whose jobs require them to const-antly move around places, to take part in malaria prevention efforts”.

“All individuals must help each other in fighting against malaria, starting first with themselves. It is highly advisable to use a mosquito net whenever you sleep in a new place, for instance,” she continued. Vandine also stressed that anyone who has tested positive for the disease must immediately seek proper medical treatment to prevent their condition worsening and potential death.

Health Minister Mam Bun Heng and Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, will attend the events to show support and political commitment to eradicating malaria in Cambodia, according to the statement.

“We gather aptly in Koh Nhek [district], one of the few remaining areas where Cambodians are still afflicted by the disease,” the statement read.

“Elimination of malaria from these final areas will be a significant milestone not only for the Greater Mekong Sub-region [GMS] but also for the world.”

Other areas with a recorded high presence of malaria cases include pockets of Pursat, Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, Ratanakkiri, Kratie and Stung Treng provinces, Vandine said.

She added that through the events, the governments of these provinces are urged to implement measures to eliminate malaria, including reaching out to the target population, educating the communities about health, testing for the malaria virus and providing medicine to affected individuals.

Cambodia has remarkable achievements to celebrate, the statement said, as the Kingdom had zero malaria-related deaths last year.

Moreover, the number of infections caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest strand of the disease, decreased by almost 30 per cent compared to 2017.

However, issues such as universal access to malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment for forest-goers in rural areas and drug resistance remain as challenges, the statement said.

Last September, the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, with support from WHO and partners, launched an intensified response plan to target most-at-risk populations.

That plan focused on strengthening malaria prevention and improving case management through health centres, villages and mobile malaria workers, it further read.

Referring to the government’s ambitious target to eliminate all cases of malaria in humans from the Kingdom by 2025, Vandine said her ministry is optimistic.

The ministry, she noted, has now successfully achieved zero malaria-related mortalities two years in a row prior to the 2020 deadline.

“We had strategies to achieve this goal and it wasn’t very easy to implement them. But in the end we succeeded.

“We are determined that the death rate will stay at zero until 2020 and beyond,” she said.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, was also quoted in the joint statement: “Ultimately, investing in universal health coverage is the best way to ensure that all communities have access to the services they need to beat malaria.

“Individual and community empowerment through grass-root initiatives like Zero Malaria Starts with Me can also play a critical role in driving progress.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia