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

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • US told to refrain from interfering in Sokha case

    Senior Cambodian officials said on Thursday that the US can monitor Kem Sokha’s trial as it wishes but would not be allowed to interfere in court procedures. The point was made in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on Wednesday

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara