Web Site Gathers Net Funds

March 20, 2003
By Kate Woodsome
The Cambodia Daily

Brooklyn, in the US state of New York, doesn't often see mosquitoes this time of year. In fact, most folks living in the northeast US spend the month of March praying for a break in the cold.

But one woman's recent pledge to the Mosquito Net Campaign proves that warmth and generosity are two qualities that can withstand any weather.

Dervala Hanley caught word of The Cambodia Daily's mosquito net campaign earlier this year and established a net of her own: www.dervala.net.

The Web site solicits monetary donations from Internet surfers concerned about Cambodia's fight with malaria. To date, it has raised $436.57 to help with the fight.

Hanley's check arrived with a note bearing witness to her benevolence but not to her identity. It is on her Web site, full of observations from her travels throughout Latin America and Asia, that her identity became known.

On the site, she writes: "Dervala Hanley decided on a whim to go to Mexico because she couldn't afford rent in New York.

Many of her friends had liked Mexico and, conveniently, she already spoke Spanish. She also felt it would be reasonably safe for a solo woman traveler, an important factor since she is not very brave."

Contrary to her self-described cowardice, it appears Hanley had the courage not only to journey to Mexico and Cambodia but to make a change along the way.

New Malaria Survey Released

By Kate Woodsome
The Cambodia Daily

Cambodia is host to a new tool used to assess the treatment-seeking behavior of malaria patients and how their use of anti-malarial medicine may affect the spread of drug-resistant malaria.

The results of the October 2002 Rational Pharmaceutical Management Plus Community Drug Management Assessment were released last week at a workshop organized by the National Malaria Center, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the European Union and the US Agency for International Development.

The survey of the community drug use practices of 5,060 families from Pursat, Battambang, Pailin and Preah Vihear provinces found that 44 percent of malaria patients receive effective diagnosis and treatment in public health centers, while only 2 percent of those going to private clinics are privy to such treatment.

WHO malaria control officer Dr Reiko Tsuyuoka said drug use behavior could be improved by raising awareness in the public and private sectors—but that could take awhile, since the government has not yet prioritized educating the more frequently used private medical facilities.

Results of an EU study on the health beliefs and treatment-seeking behavior for malaria in Tampuon and Jarai communities in Ratanakkiri province also were released.

The two-month 2002 survey found that approximately 31 percent of men and 60 percent of women did not know the cause of malaria. About 10 percent of the subjects reported that only mosquitoes cause malaria. Others attributed the disease to bad hygiene. Sixty-seven percent of participants said malaria could not be prevented and 14 percent said they did not know whether they could avoid contracting the disease.