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Massive mosquito-net program begins today

Massive mosquito-net program begins today

Asia's largest-ever distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets is set to begin today in four villages in Kratie province, amid concern that cases of malaria may rise as floodwaters recede, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.

“As the waters recede, we expect malaria to rise within six to eight weeks as malaria-carrying mosquitoes start breeding in pools of stagnant water,” Steven Bjorge, malaria team leader at the WHO Cambodia, said. “These bed nets will help the flood-affected people protect themselves against malaria.”

Mosquito nets will be provided to 635 households in Chhlong district’s Damrei Phung commune. “This mass distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed-nets kicks off in a high-risk district where over 600 households live near the forest in close proximity to the habitat of malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquitoes,” Bjorge said.

“The goal is to ensure that every person at risk of contracting malaria has a mosquito net by the end of the year,” he added. The global health body is helping the Ministry of Health to meet its goal of eliminating deaths from malaria by 2015.

A total of 2.7 million mosquito nets will be distributed to more than 4,000 villages this month and next. The US$14.5 million project is funded by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The nets will be distributed by the National Malaria Control Centre with technical advice from the WHO. Health Minister Mom Bun Heng will preside over today’s launch of the distribution.

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