(AP) -A t least 385 U.N. personnel in Cambodia reported contracting malaria in August,
according to U.N. spokesman Eric Falt.
Three of the 15,000 personnel here for the U.N. peacekeeping mission have died of
the mosquito-borne disease since the operation began in March, said Falt.
He stressed that the cases reported last month were not necessarily laboratory-confirmed
but might have been clinical cases, in which the patients showed signs of the disease
and responded to treatment but might have had negative blood tests or not had a blood
The U.N.'s figures for August do not include reports from the 3,416 members of the
French, Indonesian and Uruguayan infantry battalions because they had not been compiled,
Statistics from previous months also had not been compiled.
U.N. peacekeepers from about 40 countries are stationed throughout Cambodia, including
malaria-infested areas in the north and west.
They have been told to use repellents, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and
sleep under mosquito nets sprayed with repellent. Some countries also have ordered
their contingents to take anti-malaria drugs even though many of the country's mosquitos
are resistant to most, if not all, of the available drugs.
The disease has for years taken a toll on Cambodians, most of whom have no access
to drugs for treatment, much less non-resistant prevention.
In 1991, 115,701 Cambodians were reported to have contracted the disease-1,161 fatally-according
to the Ministry of Health. But the center said the death toll from malaria could
have been as high as 10,000, taking into account unreported cases.
A soldier from the Cambodian People's Armed Forces (CPAF) turns his rifle over
to an UNTAC soldier in Phnom Penh. By late last month CPAF forces had released 38,400
soldiers from various cantonment sites across the country to lead a civilian life
under an agriculture leave programme, according to SPK, the official news agency
of the State of Cambodia.
The released soldiers-7,779 officers and 30,621 enlisted men- were given three-to-six
month allowances and will be called back to the cantonment sites for the final demobilization
under the supervision of UNTAC. The soldiers were required to turn in their identification
cards to ensure their return.