Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Monks join anti-malaria campaign

Monks join anti-malaria campaign

Monks join anti-malaria campaign


Buddhist monks and nuns joined together with health workers and government officials yesterday for a malaria education march in Pailin province. Photograph supplied

More than 70 monks and nuns joined over a hundred village health workers and government officials yesterday in a malaria education march around the fringes of Cambodia’s western border with Thailand, the area with the country’s highest rate of drug resistance to the mosquito-borne disease.

The demonstration intended to educate migrant workers, who face an increased risk of contracting the disease because they travel from remote provinces where the disease is less rampant and are less likely to have the antibodies to fight it.

The Pailin deputy of the Ministry of Religion, Som Sarouen, said the five-day religious procession would hold a lot of sway with the locals and migrant workers, who trust and respect the clergy.

The monks will offer malaria education sessions across farms and villages, while government workers will diagnose and treat patients, he said.

“A combination of the migrant workers’ lack of knowledge of the risks and their low levels of immunity make them more susceptible to serious infection,” said Song Ngak, technical director of FHI 360, a development organisation working on the project.

Char Meng Chuor, director of the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control said that sub-standard and fake anti-malaria medication was a major concern.

World Health Organization epidemiologist Steven Bjorge said the Ministry of Health had flagged the possibility of restricting anti-malarials to the private sector.

“That would help the case against substandard and fake drugs,” he said.

In the first seven months of this year, Cambodians had 42,000 cases of malaria and at least 30 deaths, a decrease of 23 per cent compared with last year, which had 55,000 cases. In Pailin, about 26 per cent of malaria cases have been drug resistant this year, up from 10 per cent in 2010.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at [email protected]
With assistance from Claire Knox


  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • UN ‘overstepping mandate’

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN (CPM) denounced statements put out by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), accusing the entity on Monday of violating its own mandate. The statement, made on May 11 by the spokesman of OHCHR, expressed disappointment

  • Endangered animals found dead in Pailin

    An endangered gaur was one of “many” wild animals found dead in “dozens” of illegal traps in Pailin province’s Phnom Khieu Wildlife Sanctuary, said Chit Thy, a military officer working with rangers to protect the conservation area, on Wednesday. Thy, an officer in the 507