British Ambassador George Edgar signed a memorandum of understanding with the World Health Organization last week to provide $100,000 to extend the WHO’s ongoing Cambodia malaria project into the year 2000.
“This enables us to be much more effective in 1999,” said Dr Stephan Hoyer, who helps coordinate the malaria control program with the Ministry of Health, at the signing ceremony Friday.
The WHO’s highest-ranking official in Cambodia, Dr George Petersen, also participated in the ceremony.
The donation, from the British Department for International Development, is especially timely, Hoyer said, because of the threat of a new malaria outbreaks in recently integrated former Khmer Rouge areas such as Anlong Veng.
Founded in 1992, the project is the WHO’s oldest malaria control project in the world. Since it started, the project has trained more than 1,000 doctors in the treatment of severe malaria and has resulted in an estimated 50 percent reduction in the number of malaria deaths in hospitals, according to the WHO.
The project also targets prevention of malaria. This year alone, it has provided more than 180,000 insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets to protect families living in malarial areas.
It also has provided training and supplies to more than 120 rural health centers, teaching the latest diagnoses and treatment techniques to the nation’s medical staff.