CONTAINMENT

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Cambodia Launches National Plan to Eliminate Malaria by 2025

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Prime Minister Hun Sen: pushing for malaria elimination. Photo by Associated Press

Prime Minister Hun Sen revealed that the Royal Government of Cambodia has launched a national strategic plan to eliminate malaria in the country by 2025.

“This national strategic plan, from 2011 to 2025, is an important reference document, which indicates a clear path, phase by phase and a clearly defined goal — that is a Cambodia without malaria,” he told the 32nd National Health Congress held in Phnom Penh on 15 March.

Meanwhile, the premier said that he understood that malaria remains an immediate public health concern and an economic burden among Cambodians. He added that there are still Cambodians falling sick due to malaria and unable to work, but there were relatively few deaths from the mosquito-borne disease.

Cambodia’s Health Minister Mam Bun Heng said the number of people getting sick or dying from malaria has decreased in almost all the provinces. He said that the number of deaths from malaria in Cambodia fell by 53.8 percent in 2010, compared with the previous year.

The Health Minister said the National Health Congress had discussed the disease and was determined to implement the national strategic plan to eliminate malaria in Cambodia by 2025.

Premier Hun Sen stressed that malaria could be eliminated and reminded the National Health Congress that Cambodia had been successful in eliminating polio, even when the country was still divided between areas controlled by the government and the Khmer Rouge.

“Fortunately, the Khmer Rouge [forces] were integrated into the government, so we tried to send the polio vaccine immediately to those areas previously controlled by the rebels,” he said, adding: “So Cambodia was declared polio-free in 2002.”

The Prime Minister reiterated that Cambodia would work in the next 15 years towards the eradication of malaria in the country by using the national strategic plan.

“I hope that all parties involved, including the Health Ministry of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the development partners will use this national strategic plan as a compass for effective implementation,” he said.

The premier said he acknowledged that malaria cases had substantially decreased in general. “But, we need a series of campaigns and activities so that malaria will go down [further] towards the zero rate of malaria transmission by the year 2025,” he added.

“For me, I am optimistic that by 2020 or 2021 [malaria] should be gone completely,” he told Cambodian health officials attending the National Congress.

Moeun Chhean Nariddh

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Written by malariacontainment

April 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm

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