Daily Distributes 2,000 Mosquito Nets to Seven Villages

khlong popork town, Kompong Chhnang province – Under the shady refuge of the clusters of mango trees in the courtyard of the pagoda, more than 100 villagers sat on the wet sandy ground waiting for National Malaria Center officials to arrive.

When the two white, mud-stained trucks pulled in, the crowd began to rustle, anticipating the distribution of much-needed mosquito nets.

“We are very grateful for the nets,” said Mom Chiv, 64, who contracted malaria years ago when he went to the northwest Cambodian border town of Pailin for work. “This will help us protect against mosquitoes.”

But not all of the villagers who were segregated into the four communities they were receiving nets for were that knowledgeable about the virus.

Before distribution began, Dr Doung Socheat, director of the National Malaria Center, flicked the switch of the microphone he was holding, paused to let the screeching feedback subside, and began explaining to the villagers about malaria.

After a quick lesson on how to keep from contracting the virus, Doung Socheat quizzed the audience, “Who can tell me how malaria is spread?”

An older man squatting to his left raised his hand, gave the appropriate answer of “by mosquito,” and received a brand-new white National Ma­laria Center T-shirt as a reward. A soft applause, mixed with laughter, rose from the crowd.

More than 2,000 nets, donated by The Cam­bodia Daily, were distributed to se­ven villages in Tuk Phos district of Kom­pong Ch­hnang pro­vince on Saturday and Sunday.

The seven villages were: Bena Steng, Takap, Kroy Vat, Yot, Trapeang Chrey, Trapeang Krabao and Khlong Popork.

Chan Sem, 56, said she was just glad to be getting the nets at no cost.

For many of the villagers who descended on the Khlong Po­pork town pagoda courtyard last weekend, malaria has been a part life in towns located in re­mote areas of the pro­vince.

The last time Chan Sem had malaria was five years ago, and her 24-year-old son, who lives in another village, can not visit her because he is currently sick with the disease.

But the nets distributed should last the villagers for one more year, until the National Malaria Center is scheduled to return to Kompong Chhnang to distribute replacement mosquito nets, Doung Socheat said.


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