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Malaria is down, not out: report

Malaria is down, not out: report

Cambodia is moving closer to its goal of eliminating malaria deaths by 2015, with the number of fatal cases declining from 93 in 2011 to 12 last year, data from a new World Health Organisation report show.

Confirmed new cases last year also plummeted to 21,309 from nearly 50,000 in 2010, with the WHO attributing a large part of Cambodia’s success in fighting malaria – which poses a risk to 44 per cent of the population – to effective distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets.

The majority of Cambodia’s malaria funding is now dedicated to the provision of the nets, which are supplied to 90 per cent of the population, says the report.

But the gains remain “fragile”, according to the report. Cambodia’s malaria funding peaked at around $40 million in 2011, but a new funding allocation strategy instituted by the Global Fund has seen it fall to $15 million.

“If funding is not maintained, what could happen is that malaria could come back again as a bigger, harder to treat problem,” said the WHO’s Sonny Krishnan.

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