Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Migration tied to malaria cases

Migration tied to malaria cases

Migration tied to malaria cases

091216_03b
A man dips mosquito nets in insect repellant in this file photo. Cambodia’s malaria record is improving, a new report says.

BETTER funding for the global fight against malaria has begun paying off with a widespread reduction in cases, according to a report issued Wednesday by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“The World Malaria Report 2009” recognised Cambodia’s improving record on malaria, but also called the emergence of artemisinin-resistant strains in the Thai-Cambodian border area one of the “major threats to achieving global malaria control”.

While the report urged all nations affected by the disease to “prohibit the production, marketing and distribution of counterfeit antimalarial medicines”, its country profile for Cambodia did not mention the issue, which has been tied to drug-resistance since attention was first drawn to the border region this summer.

Instead, the Cambodia entry opened with a less-frequently considered cause of infection rates and the development of resistance: demographics. “Approximately 2 million people live in or around forested areas where there is intense malaria transmission,” the report said. “Soldiers, forestry workers and gem miners are at the highest risk.”

Dr Duong Socheat, director of Cambodia’s National Malaria Centre, said that especially on the Thai-Cambodian border, these mostly poor, undereducated groups also constitute a “highly mobile population … so malaria moves very fast”.

“But it is definitely possible to contain [the new strain],” Duong Socheat said, citing the additional resources made available by a US$22.5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which the WHO will distribute to both the Thai and Cambodian anti-malaria efforts over the next two years.

Dr Yeang Chheng, a malaria specialist at the WHO in Cambodia, was equally upbeat. “Recently the donations were cut 20 percent, but we are still able to carry out all of our programmes, no problem. It’s sustainable,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • First case of coronavirus reported in the Kingdom

    Cambodia reported its first case of the deadly 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Monday, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng announced. He said medical specialists detected the virus in a Chinese tourist in Sihanoukville. The minister said Jia Jianhua, 60, travelled from Wuhan city, where the outbreak

  • PM urges precaution amid virus outbreak

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday called on all Cambodians to bump up precautions to avoid contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has already killed more than 50 people in China. The prime minister told the public to remain calm but alert about the possibility of

  • Gov’t slams NGO over 2019 corruption report

    The government on Thursday slammed a report that described the Kingdom as highly corrupt. Government spokesperson Phay Siphan dismissed the latest Transparency International (TI) report as “just an advertisement of NGOs to promote their own interests”. Released on Thursday, the report puts Cambodia near the

  • Gov’t answers garment buyers’ complaint

    Some of the biggest buyers in the Kingdom’s garment sector have urged Prime Minister Hun Sen to address issues faced by unions and workers – a request a senior official said was out of touch with the situation on the ground. The letter addressed to

  • App to connect farmers to millions

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has soft-launched a mobile app that connects farmers with potential buyers and gives them access to critical market information. The ministry’s Agriculture Marketing Office chief Meach Yady said the ‘CamAgriMarket’ app gives farmers a platform to showcase