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Minister Wants Malaria Eliminated by 2025

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A Thai health official performs a blood test on children at a malaria clinic in Kanchanaburi province near the Thai-Myanmar border. AFP/ Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/ Pornchai Kittiwongsakul

In recognition of this year’s World Malaria Day on Monday this week, the Health Minister reconfirmed Cambodia’s commitment to eliminate the disease by 2025 during a speech in Pailin on Monday.
 
“We have to continue our efforts to eliminate malaria according to our plan by 2025, and Thailand is committed to eliminate it by 2024, one year before Cambodia. The plan to eliminate malaria by 2025 is supported by Prime Minister Hun Sen,” Minister Mam Bunheng said, referring to a pledge made by the Health Ministry as part of its 2011-2025 roadmap.
 
“We have to pay more attention to prevention by distributing and properly using mosquito nets,” Mr. Bunheng said, adding that attention should also be paid to the proper administration of the malaria vaccine in order to prevent strains of the virus becoming immune to it.
 
“We also need proper examination of the malaria dosage because it is a problem leading to immunity that the world is paying high attention to and Cambodia also has to participate in this matter,” he added.
 
Ly Sovann, the spokesman for the Ministry of Health, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
 
The 2011-2025 roadmap, which officials say has so far been successful, vowed to eliminate malaria at any cost.
 
According to an annual report on national anti-malaria strategic programs, the number of deaths caused by malaria in the Kingdom dropped from 92 in 2011 to 10 in 2015. The total number of reported malaria cases also saw a steep drop-off between 2011 and 2015, from 62,690 to 34,892.
 
In a Facebook post, the US Embassy celebrated the success of anti-malaria projects in Cambodia that are supported by US funds.
 
“The US provides $4.5 million annually to the Control and Prevention of Malaria Project (CAP) Malaria – funded by USAID through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) – to fight malaria in Cambodia,” the post said, adding that funds go towards the procurement of mosquito nets, training and outreach health services.
 
“To eliminate malaria in Cambodia by 2025, USAID is working with the National Malaria Program Center to pilot a malaria elimination intervention package, with the hope that it will one day serve as the basis for a model that can be replicated throughout the country,” the post added.
 
On World Malaria Day earlier this week, Prime Minister Hun Sen wrote on Facebook: “We all need to continue our attention to malaria that cannot be ignored…Cambodia is still facing a death rate by malaria.”

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