Cambodia sees zero death from malaria for first time last year

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) – Cambodia has reported zero death from malaria in 2018, achieving its self-imposed target three years earlier, director of the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control Huy Rekol said on Wednesday.

“In 2017, there was one death, but in 2018, there was no any death from malaria, meaning that we have achieved success three years earlier than the target of zero death in 2020,” he said during the centre’s annual conference in Siem Reap province.

According to Rekol, despite no fatal case, the Southeast Asian country reported 65,114 malaria cases last year, up 41.6 per cent from the year before.

The representative of the World Health Organization in Cambodia Luciano Tuseo congratulated Cambodia for the reduction of malaria mortality to zero for the first time in 2018.

“I do hope and encourage all partners continue to work closely, under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, to ensure synergies, to enhance coordination and collaboration, and to provide necessary support to the central and local governments and communities so that we altogether can reach the elimination goal in the near future,” he said.

Cambodia launched in 2016 a USD142-million five-year plan to eliminate the death from malaria by 2020 and set a target to wipe out all malaria cases by 2025.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease, which is often found in rainy seasons and mostly happens in forest and mountainous provinces.

To prevent the disease, people living in malaria-prone areas need to sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets all the time.