Cambodia will celebrate National Malaria Day on April 25 under the theme, “Zero malaria starts with me”, although there have been no reported deaths from malaria in the Kingdom since 2018.
A letter from Prime Minister Hun Sen, issued to mark the occasion, noted that the country plans to eradicate the disease by 2025.
Hun Sen said in the letter that the celebration is aligned with the evolution of Cambodia’s socio-economic situation, which has been extended to border and eco-tourism areas that are still at risk from the possibility of malaria-related deaths.
He said Cambodia is implementing the malaria eradication approach as part of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Malaria in the Kingdom of Cambodia 2011-2025, which is a roadmap for facilitating nationwide malaria eradication.
“According to the report of the Cambodian National Malaria Control Programme, Cambodia has had no deaths from malaria since 2018, meaning that we succeeded years before the 2020 target,” Hun Sen’s letter said.
The Cambodia National Malaria Control Programme report shows that last year, there were 4,990 cases of falciparum malaria (severe malaria) and mixed-species malaria, which has decreased by 72 per cent compared to 2018, which saw 18,057 cases.
“These achievements are showing positive signs of efficiency and quality in our response to the fight against malaria to achieve complete success in eliminating all types of malaria by 2025 and it is also a cause that contributes to the success of our Cambodian Millennium Development Goals,” said the prime minister.
He wrote that the government has always provided encouragement to mobilise the proper resources to push forward the fight against malaria to eradicate the disease as planned, although the world, including Cambodia, is currently facing the Covid-19 crisis.
“Therefore, we must pay attention to all these points to improve the health, quality of life, and dignity of our people,” he said.
Director of the National Centre for Parasitology Entomology and Malaria Control at the Ministry of Health Huy Rekol said on Tuesday that within the last three years, Cambodia has already achieved success regarding the death rate from malaria.
“It is the target dictated by the government in its aim to eradicate malaria or falciparum which is a type of malaria that has been increasing and can cause death. In the three months of this year, this type of malaria has been increasing by around only 200 cases and can be fully controlled with no deaths,” he said.
As for eliminating the disease, he said money, human resources and materials, especially antibiotics, are vital to ensure safety until the middle of next year.