Villages in Kep, Kampot Get 2,000 Treated Mosquito Nets

o’touch village, Kampot – Far­mers in this small village at the foot of Bokor Mountain got some help last week in their constant fight against malaria.

Staff members from the Min­istry of Health’s National Malaria Center and the provincial health authority explained to about 200 villagers how mosquito nets impregnated with insecticide can help prevent malaria.

“At night, sleep under the net with your family,” a health worker told the village. “The mosquitoes will not be able to come in.”

The explanation came with 2,000 nets purchased with money donated from The Cambodia Daily readers to the newspaper’s ongoing campaign.

The problem is serious: The director of the village’s health clinic says she is constantly treating adults and children for the mosquito-borne disease.

“On the lowest scale we see one, two patients a week. At the highest, 10 to 15,” said Nop Sam­neang, coordinator of the clinic at the rural woman’s enterprise center in the village.

Ministry of Health statistics show that the number of malaria cases in 1997 doubled from 1996. More than 24,000 cases of malaria were recorded in Kampot last year.

Nationwide, the Ministry of Health recorded more than 170,000 cases and 800 deaths in 1997, but health experts estimate that the number is much higher because many Cambodians live far from health facilities where the statistics are recorded.

“Some people themselves, they know about the problem, so now they are learning about how to protect themselves,” said Khuy Sien, chief of Kompong Bay district in Kampot.

The chief takes seriously the threat of malaria and another mosquito-transmitted disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever. He said that he requested all 15 villages in his district to encourage residents to clean houses of debris and standing water that could be­come the breeding grounds for mosquitoes. He also asked village chiefs to regularly encourage clean-ups.

The female Anopheles mosquito can carry the plasmodia protozoan that causes malaria.

Nets soaked in an insecticide non-toxic to humans are an effective tool against mosquito bites that can lead to malaria, doctors say.

Health workers also distributed mosquito nets purchased with money to two other villages, Phuum Thmei and Keo Krasaing in Kep municipality. More than 2,000 nets were distributed to all three areas. About 1,080 mosquito nets were purchased with money donated from The Cam­bodia Daily’s ongoing mosquito net campaign. The rest came from the Italian NGO Cesui and the European Commission’s Hu­manitarian Office.


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