More than 1,000 villagers in Kratie province’s Chhlong district gathered yesterday morning to receive the first batch of insecticide-treated mosquito nets distributed as part of the government’s efforts to eradicate deaths from malaria.
Health Minister Mam Bunheng was joined by staff from the World Health Organisation, which is providing technical assistance for the delivery of 2.7 million nets by the end of this year, and local officials.
Villagers in Damrei Phung commune gathered in the rain, which underscored the need for heightened interventions for malaria prevention after the floods that have devastated the country. “It is urgent that we help people living in forest areas as they are at great risk of contracting malaria, particularly after the recent flooding” Mam Bunheng said.
Health officials have warned that after the floods subside there will be a surge in the number of mosquitoes that transmit the parasite that causes malaria because they will have more stagnant pools of water to breed in.
After impressing home the urgency of preventing malaria, the minister shifted to jokes, provoking giggles with unorthodox instructions on how to use mosquito nets. “You should avoid having sex under the nets or they will tear,” he said.