During the upcoming celebration of National Malaria Day this year, the Health Ministry is targeting to eliminate the disease in the Kingdom by 2025.
One of the oldest threats to human health, malaria kills more than 400,000 people globally every year, and Cambodia joins hands with its neighbors in the Greater Mekong Sub-region to end malaria, said a joint statement by the Health Ministry and World Health Organization (WHO) issued on Friday.
It said that as one of the six countries that make up the Greater Mekong Sub-region, Cambodia continues to commit to eliminating malaria before 2030 through a call for action at the ministerial level throughout the Sub-region.
“In the last five years, the Sub-region has more than halved the number of malaria cases and reduced deaths by more than 80 percent. Cambodia has the ambitious target to eliminate all human malaria in its territory by 2025.” read the statement.
World Malaria Day is being celebrated on Thursday under the theme ‘Zero malaria starts with me’ and Cambodia will hold the events to raise awareness today in Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district, which is one of the remaining endemic areas.
For the National Malaria Day, Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a letter to say that this day is celebrated in order to promote more awareness and attention to promoting social well-being and contributing to the well-being of the people.
“I take this opportunity to really support every activity which has already been done and is being done in order to push and promote public understanding [about malaria] to be more comprehensive throughout the Kingdom, especially in the rural areas,” Mr Hun Sen said.
Dr Huy Rekol, Director of the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, said that Cambodia had zero malaria-related deaths last year and the number of infections caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest type of malaria, decreased by almost 30 percent compared to 2017.
“We will still keep implementing the National Strategy for the Elimination of Malaria.” he said, adding that to prevent malaria, everyone has to sleep in mosquito nets, especially when out in the forest, and those with symptoms of the disease should immediately go to the nearest hospital or health center.
Dr Rekol noted that there were 65,114 cases of malaria last year, including about 10,000 cases of the falciparum variety.