PHNOM PENH, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has seen a sharp decline in the deaths from malaria last year thanks to joint- efforts from all relevant stakeholders, Duong Socheat, director of the National Malaria Center, said Thursday.
There had been about 60,000 infection cases of the disease reported last year, down 25 percent from 80,000 cases in 2009, he told Xinhua by phone on Thursday. Of the cases in 2010, 118 Cambodian people were killed, 75 percent down from 207 in 2009, he said.
"It's a sharp drop in the deaths last year, it is attributed to our joint-efforts to combat the disease through education, mosquito net distributions and treatment," he said.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease. In Cambodia, the disease is often found in rainy season and mostly happens in border provinces, forest and mountainous provinces such as Pailin, Banteay Meanchy, Udor Meanchey, Stung Treng, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, and Kratie.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday advised the Ministry of Health to do the campaigns to eliminate malaria by 2015 or 2020.
"We had already eliminated polio in 2002, now it's time to discuss and set the deadline to eliminate malaria to zero percent," he said during the inauguration of a hospital in Kampong Cham province.
According to Cambodia's Millennium Development Goal, the country sets to alleviate the malaria fatalities to 0.1 percent by 2015, said Duong Socheat.
"Thus, Cambodia could eliminate malaria by 2020 at the latest if all relevant ministries and stakeholders join forces to eliminate it," he said.
Editor: Xiong Tong