Cambodia’s ministry introduces new drug to fight malaria

Health Minister Mam Bun Heng displays the new drug. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

PHNOM PENH, Oct 24, 2019, The Khmes Times. The Ministry of Health has introduced the new drug Primaquine to treat malaria more effectively and urged all provincial and municipal authorities to increase cooperation to achieve the Kingdom’s target to eliminate the disease by 2025, reported The Khmes Times.

Health Minister Mam Bun Heng made the announcement on Tuesday at the Second National Advisory Meeting on the Progress and Update of Special Malaria Elimination Task Force held at the ministry.

He noted that malaria does not only affect health, expenditure, loss of work, productivity and life, but also negatively impacts economic and social development.

Mr Bun Heng said that to respond more effectively to the target on eliminating malaria, the ministry has introduced Primaquine which effectively treats patients and also prevents the disease from spreading to other people through mosquito bites.

“We have added this new drug which is highly effective in killing the Vivax virus [malaria virus] and takes 14 days to treat the disease,” he noted.

Mr Bun Heng also urged health officials throughout the country, local authorities and partner organisations to continue to pay attention to the implementation of the National Strategic Plan and strengthen action to successfully eliminate all forms of malaria by 2025.

A ministry press release on Tuesday said the number of malaria cases in the Kingdom has been decreasing and there were no deaths from the disease in recent years.

It identified Pursat, Kampong Speu, Stung Treng, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Preah Vihear and Kratie provinces as being the most prone to malaria cases.

Ratanakiri provincial Department of Health director Ung Ratana, said yesterday through the National Strategic Plan the number of malaria cases in the province has steadily declined.

He noted there were more than 300 cases recorded in the first nine months of this year compared to more than 1,000 cases during the same period last year.

“The department will continue to strengthen the implementation of the National Strategic Plan and further action plans to achieve the goals that have been set,” he added.

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