Cambodia prepares biggest handout of mosquito nets to beat malaria
The government said Wednesday millions of at-risk Cambodians would be given mosquito nets in a significant effort to prevent malaria, DPA reported.
Dr Char Meng Chuor, the director of the National Center for Malaria Control, said authorities would start distributing 2.7 million nets treated with insecticide next month.
He expected the programme would take a month and cost 12 million dollars, paid for by the Global Fund.
"This is our biggest distribution (of mosquito nets) and covers all of the high-risk areas of 2.5 million people in 4,079 villages," Char said.
The distribution is part of Phnom Penh's strategy to eliminate malaria by 2025.
The World Health Organization, which is providing technical assistance, said deaths from the mosquito-borne disease halved between 2009 and 2010 to around 135.
"And we are optimistic it will be lower this year," said Dr Najibullah Habib, the project manager at WHO's malaria containment programme.
He said Cambodia had a cultural acceptance of using bed nets, and cited a 2009 distribution of several hundred thousand nets to one high-risk area which resulted in a rapid reduction in malaria cases.
In June, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced it had distributed 190 million insecticide-treated bed nets worldwide since 2003. It said 70 million of those had been handed out in the previous 12 months.