The Royal Government of Cambodia is committed to eliminating the deadliest strain of malaria


The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has pledged today to eliminate Plasmodium falciparum within the next few months and to maintain zero cases by 2023, through the launch of an innovative and targeted approach to the last mile of malaria elimination in the country.

P. falciparum is the deadliest strain of malaria and is resistant to antimalarial drugs, which adds urgency to efforts to eliminate it.

According to the goals set in the Malaria Elimination Action Framework, Cambodia is on the verge of success. We are now in the phase of achieving the elimination of P. falciparum by 2023, not only in Kampong Speu but also in all the other remaining provinces. “

HE Professor Mam Bunheng, Minister of Health

Minister Bunheng encouraged all health workers, officials, authorities, partners and individuals to make every effort in this last mile to eliminate P. falciparum, saying: “Working together makes it possible to eliminate malaria in Cambodia.” .

Dr. Li Ailan, representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Cambodia, praised the work done.

“I am very impressed by the enormous efforts being made at the local, provincial and national levels to eliminate malaria. We appreciate the collective action of partners for this. Cambodia, being very close to the goal, may be the first country in the region to eliminate malaria from P. falciparum, serving as a champion in the Greater Mekong sub-region. “

The kick-off for the ‘last mile’ of malaria elimination was held in Kampong Speu at an event attended by the Ministry of Health (MOH), WHO, the National Center for Parasitology , entomology and malaria control (NCM), Kampong Speu Governorate, the United Nations Office for Project Services and other partners. HE Minister Mam Bunheng, Dr Huy Rekol, Director of the CNM, and HE Vei Samnang, Governor of Kampong Speu, gave speeches in recognition of this historic moment.

At the event, all stakeholders agreed to collaborate on three interventions to eliminate P. falciparum in malaria hotspots in five provinces:

  • Distribution of mosquito nets;
  • Weekly house-to-house fever screening to ensure that every person with a fever is tested for malaria and receives treatment if positive; is
  • Targeted drug delivery and intermittent preventive treatment for travelers visiting malaria-prone areas.

The “last mile” of malaria elimination is an innovative approach that builds on Cambodia’s impressive progress in malaria control and elimination in recent years. The MOH, including the National Malaria Program, technically and programmatically supported by WHO, has strengthened engagement with partners, communities and civil societies to ensure full implementation of the National Strategic Plan activities and the deployment of aggressive interventions to reduce malaria.

Cambodia continued its intense response to malaria eradication during the COVID-19 pandemic and recently reached a historically low level of malaria incidence. Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, the country has minimized disruptions, prioritized preparedness, and maintained solid progress in its fight against malaria. After reporting 3,528 cases of P. falciparum and mixed malaria in September 2017, only 72 cases of P. falciparum and mixed cases were reported in around 60 villages in September 2020. This finding is even more remarkable given that Cambodia is the l epicenter of multi-resistance against malaria in the region.

The response is part of a broader initiative supported by the WHO’s Mekong Malaria Elimination (MME) program. The key to the success of this aggressive approach is the active inclusion of village malaria workers, villagers living in wooded areas and leaders of remote communities. This inclusion captures important insights from those most affected by this problem and creates an opportunity for local communities to engage in malaria interventions. These local partnerships are essential to ensure that Cambodia reaches unreached and underserved people and establishes community consensus.

The work done in Cambodia will play a vital role in driving progress in the Greater Mekong. I hope we can use this forward-looking and locally driven approach as a model for future interventions in the sub-region. “

Dr Luciano Tuseo, MME Hub Coordinator

WHO will support MOH, in particular CNM, and partners in ensuring an effective technical strategy and will also provide operational and financial support to achieve the elimination goal. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has committed $ 2 million to implement more aggressive interventions.

After the elimination of malaria from P. falciparum, Cambodia’s next goal is to eliminate all malaria species by 2025.


The World Health Organization

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