ASIA/CAMBODIA - Millions of mosquito nets to prevent malaria facilitated by recent floods

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Phnom Penh (Agenzia Fides) - Millions of Cambodians will receive insecticide-treated nets by the government to try to limit the spread of malaria and dengue fever. This is the largest operation of distribution in Asia, 2 million 700 thousand mosquito nets in more than 4 000 villages in 20 provinces of Cambodia. According to the local head of WHO the goal is to guarantee them, by the end of the year, to all those who are at risk of malaria, especially after the great flood recorded in the whole country. The mosquito nets will be distributed by the National Malaria Control Center with technical assistance from WHO. Priority will be given to the inhabitants of forest areas, who are at higher risk of infection, favored by the stagnant waters of the rains. The project aims at the distribution, in this month, of 785 000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets in 6 provinces, including 3 among those most affected by the floods. According to the National Committee for Disaster Management, the rains have affected about 10% of the population in the country, 1.5 million people. Of 18 provinces, Kandal, Kampong Thom, Prey Veng and Kampong Cham are the most severely damaged and are still isolated. More than 250 000 displaced people have returned to their places of origin. In December 2010, 1.915 million mosquito nets were distributed in 13 provinces. In the last nine months of 2011, there were 43,991 cases and 64 deaths caused by malaria, compared with 38,321 and 82 deaths of the same period last year. According to the WHO, in 2000, the number of malaria cases treated in Cambodia had reached 129,167 with 608 deaths. In 2010 the number fell to 56,217 with 135 deaths, 78% less. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 16/11/2011)