A comprehensive how-to book on battling insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever has been declared the Best Medical Book of the year in Britain, according to the World Health Organization.
The book, Vector Control, was issued by WHO at the end of 1997 and won the award from the British Medical Association in November, a WHO statement said.
Vector Control is meant as a resource for organizations battling these diseases, said Jan Rozendaal, the book’s editor and an adviser to the European Commission Malaria Control Project. Information ranges from how to build cheap insect traps to how to impregnate bedsheets with insecticide.
Rozendaal does not expect Cambodians to use the 400-page, English-language book directly, but she hopes organizations battling malaria and other insect-borne diseases will use the information and the illustrations to produce brochures that are more user-friendly.
“Somebody who wants to make a leaflet for the citizens of Phnom Penh on how to prevent dengue mosquitoes from breeding in their backyard or on the roof of their house, they can just make a two-page leaflet using this book and then spread the leaflet,” Rozendaal said.
Vector Control is being distributed worldwide. It costs $29 for people in developing countries and $118 for people in more developed nations. Rozendaal acknowledges that the book is too expensive for Cambodian institutions such as the National Malaria Center.
Doung Socheat, the National Malaria Center’s vice director, said he had not seen the book before but thought it would be useful. He did feel, however, that several illustrations were flawed, including one of a man spraying insecticide on a mosquito net rather than dipping it in the solution. “I think this is not good…If you dip, it is very good. It’s more thorough,” he said.
A Vietnamese translation of Vector Control is in the works, but no Khmer translation has been planned, Rozendaal said.