Malaria Experts Will Share Knowledge at Global Conference

November 14, 2002
By David Kihara 
The Cambodia Daily

Five malaria experts from the European Commission and one from the National Malaria Center will join more than 3,000 participants from around the world to take part in a conference on malaria in Tanzania, officials said on Wednesday.
The conference, which will bring at least 700 disease experts from 100 nations, will also cover communicable diseases such as 
HIV/AIDS in developing nations.

"The aim of the conference is to show different mechanisms to fight malaria," said Ros Seyha, coordinator for the EC's Social Marketing Program and a technical staff member for the National Malaria Program. "Cambodia will show the strategies we use to fight and the treatments we use for malaria."

The EC's malaria program in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam currently uses three methods to fight malaria in the country and will introduce them at the meeting, held in Arusha, Tanzania, Ros Seyha said on Wednesday.

The first strategy uses the public hospitals to help provide treatment for malaria victims, he said.

Second, the EC brings in local villagers who volunteer in remote areas to help provide basic treatment and assist in giving basic diagnosis for people who are suffering from malaria. The treatments they give to villagers suffering from malaria are supplied by the Ministry of Health, he said.

The third strategy to fight malaria in Cambodia is a social marketing program where EC officials ensure the quality of malaria medications in markets. Many malaria medications found in markets, especially in rural markets, are sometimes fake, he said.
"The last three years, there has been a significant decline in malaria cases," Ros Seyha said, adding that official figures show that an estimated 200,000 people suffer from malaria in Cambodia.

He added, though, that the five-year malaria fighting strategy used by the EC is not the only factor in the decline in malaria, citing the decrease in forestry as a factor as well.

The five-year program, however, could face termination due to lack of funds, Ros Seyha said. The malaria-fighting program will officially end in December, and the EC is currently asking the Global Fund, made up of G-7 countries, for additional money to continue to strategy.

The National Malaria Center has proposed that the Global Fund provide $10 million over five years for the malaria-eradication program, Dr Duong Socheat, director of the National Malaria Center, said on Wednesday. He said the Global Fund will decide by January whether or not they will help fund the program.
Malaria affects more than 300 million people a year and kills one child every 30 seconds globally, the Associated Press reported.