The Health Ministry yesterday said that the number of malaria cases last year rose by more than 41.6 percent when compared to 2017, but there was no death.
The statistics were made available by the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control in its annual report, which was presented during an event presided over by Health Minister Mam Bun Heng in Siem Reap province yesterday.
In its report, NCPEMC said that last year there were 65,114 cases of malaria, an increase when compared to 45,991 cases in 2017.
Huy Rekol, NCPEMC director, said that although the number of malaria cases increased last year, most of them were a milder form of the disease known as P Vivax, while cases of the more serious form of the disease, Falciparum, declined by 27.6 percent from the previous year.
“In 2017, there was one death, but last year no one died from malaria,” he said. “This means that we are reaching our goal of eradicating fatalities from malaria by 2020.”
Mr Rekol noted that last year most cases occurred between June and July.
He said that the cases occurred in Pursat, Kampong Speu, Mondulkiri, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Kratie and Ratanakkiri provinces.
Mr Rekol said that NCPEMC also vaccinated 391 peacekeepers leaving for duty in South Sudan, Central African Republic and Lebanon and 457 peacekeepers who returned from these countries.
He said that last year the centre distributed nearly two million mosquito nets to people throughout the country.
These included 340,849 nets for migrants, 54,050 for soldiers at border checkpoints and 31,500 for forest conservation officers from the Environment Ministry.
At yesterday’s event Mr Bun Heng urged ministry officials to work towards eradicating malaria in the country by 2025.
He said although there was no death last year, the number of malaria cases had risen.
“In case of a malaria outbreak, officials must hurry to provide medicines and mosquito nets to residents, migrants and people at the borders and forests to stop the spread of the disease,” Mr Bun Heng said.
He added that officials must also educate people in malaria-prone areas on how to avoid and treat the disease.
Luciano Tuseo, WHO representative in Cambodia, said that last year WHO and the Health Ministry had successfully reduced the malaria mortality-rate to zero for the first time.
“Efforts to eliminate malaria must be maximised even more,” he said. “We appreciate the efforts of all technical and financial partners such as Global Fund and USAID/PMI with their excellent programmes to eliminate and control malaria.” he said.