The government has called on all relevant institutes and local authorities, as well as international development partners, to help make Cambodia a malaria-free country.
Prime Minister Hun Sen released a letter this week to celebrate World Malaria Day today under the theme Ready to Beat Malaria.
World Malaria Day was established in 2007 by the World Health Organisation in order to provide education and understanding about the disease as well as disseminate information about malaria-control strategies.
“I really support and appreciate all the activities to push and inspire public understanding all over the country, especially in rural areas, in order to change the point of view and encourage habits of good hygiene in living,” Mr Hun Sen said.
“Malaria not only affects our health, but we spend a lot of money and lose work, productivity and also our life. So we all must continue to pay attention to this disease. We can’t overlook this issue.”
According to the annual report of the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control issued in late February, there were 45,991 malaria cases and one death in all of 2017.
The report said the number of malaria cases increased 95 percent compared with 2016, which saw 23,627 cases and one death.
“If we cannot eliminate the malaria virus from the human body, kill or eliminate the Anopheles mosquito in the forest and surrounding areas where it still bites and transmits the disease from person to person or from one community to another, then the malaria issue is still a concern for our country,” Mr Hun Sen said.
The premier also took the opportunity to appeal to local authorities, the private sector, civil society, media agencies, the national and international community as well as development partners to participate and support the Health Ministry in eliminating malaria from Cambodia before 2025.
Health Minister Mam Bun Heng said in late February that only one person died from malaria last year, but the number of people getting sick nearly doubled.
He advised provincial health directors to provide tests and medicine immediately to patients showing symptoms of malaria.
“When we do this, we will quickly reduce the number of sick people,” he said.