Efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant strain of malaria near the Cambodian-Thai border have shown signs of success, according to the World Health Organization and local health officials. (reported by AFP)
The WHO warned early last year that the emergence of parasites resistant to artemisinin along the Cambodia-Thai border could “seriously undermine” efforts to bring the disease under control.
But initial results from the screening of 2,782 villagers in Cambodia’s Pailin province found only two cases of falciparum malaria, the deadliest type of the disease and the one in which resistance to artemisinin has emerged.
A malaria control project launched last year, has distributed more than half a million mosquito nets and trained and equipped more than 3,000 village malaria workers in diagnosis and treatment on both sides of the border.
The director of Cambodia’s National Centre for Malaria Control, said the results suggested the efforts are “significantly reducing the cases of malaria and could ultimately eliminate the resistant parasites from the area.”
New artemisinin-based medication has been largely credited in recent years for increasing recovery rates from the mosquito-transmitted disease that kills one million people a year, mostly in Africa.