The Health Minister is calling for people living in areas prone to malaria to take measures in order to protect themselves from mosquitoes.
The call is part of the ministry’s bid to eliminate malaria from the Kingdom by 2025.
Minister Mam Bun Heng last week said migrants and people living in forests must be tested for malaria and receive mosquito nets for protection.
“I want to encourage our people to use insecticide-induced mosquito nets to prevent malaria, especially those living inside forests,” Mr Bun Heng said, noting that about three million nets have been distributed so far this year. “We found that some people who have received the nets have not been utilising them.”
“Do not take the nets from us and then keep them without using them. It would render the nets useless and a waste,” he added. “So please use the mosquito nets correctly because if you get sick, it takes a lot of money to get better.”
Mr Bun Heng noted that the ministry and its partners will work together to eliminate the disease from the Kingdom by 2025.
“The number of cases have been reduced. This year, no one has died from the disease,” he said. “We hope that we can achieve our goal by 2025.”
Leang Rithea, national dengue control programme manager with the ministry, declined to comment yesterday.
Huy Rekol, director of the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM), could not be reached for comment. However, he was quoted by local media last week saying that since 2011, cases of malaria have significantly dropped.
“If we compare things to the 80s and 90s, or even the years after 2000, we can see that cases of malaria have dropped by 89 percent, while cases involving deaths dropped 99 percent,” Mr Rekol said.
The CNM began implementing a malaria control plan in six provinces this year and will continue its work to gradually cover 21 provinces by 2020. CNM has recorded about 30,000 cases of malaria this year, a drop when compared to last year’s 45,991 cases.
In April, Prime Minister Hun Sen called on all officials to help make Cambodia malaria-free.
“The disease does not only affect our health, money, and productivity, but also our lives,” Mr Hun Sen said. “We must pay attention to this disease, and we cannot overlook this issue.”