Malaria Prevention Program Launches Film in Battambang

A new short film aimed at in­forming Cambodians about how to protect themselves from malaria and what to do when you suspect an infection will be launched in Battambang province on Friday by the BBC World Service Trust.

“The Village Nurse’s Charms” is a 30-minute drama about a young nurse, Samphors, who goes back to her village and meets Mongkol, a malaria health volunteer, according to a news release from the BBC World Service Trust. When Samphors meets Veasna, an aspiring young actor, she finds herself torn between her affections for both men. Woven into the ro­man­tic plot is a story about malaria and tips on prevention and treatment.

The BBC Trust, which produced and finished shooting the movie in November, will now broad­cast it a total of seven times on the TV5 and Bayon television stations from March until May, in the lead up to the next ma­l­aria season, said Vanessa Johan­son, head of the project for the Trust.

“The Village Nurse’s Charms” will be distributed to non-governmental organizations, village health volunteers and government agencies in the key target provinces of Pailin, Battambang and Preah Vihear, Johanson said.

According to the World Health Or­ganization, about 2 million Cam­bo­dians live in forested areas where malaria is common. In 2007, the number of reported mal­ar­ia cas­es was 59,848 leading to 241 deaths. The number of people who contract malaria but do not re­port it is thought to be much higher.

Malaria, however, is decreasing overall in Cambodia, in large part to efforts to educate and prevent infection, health experts say.

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