News / Asia

    Cambodia Fights to Contain Drug-Resistant Malaria

    Cambodian man purchases malaria medicine at local pharmacy
    Cambodian man purchases malaria medicine at local pharmacy

    The spread of drug-resistant malaria in Asia and Africa complicates the fight against the killer.  In Cambodia, the government has tightened its grip on private drug stores, often the source of resistance-enhancing fake drugs and improper treatment. There is concern, though, that the effort may shut down the pharmacies upon which Cambodians most rely.

    Mom Va, who lives in Pailin in western Cambodia, says her malaria symptoms appeared a week ago, and she still has not recovered. Va worries that she has a strain of malaria called falciparum, which has become resistant to some of the most effective treatments.

    In Cambodia's war against malaria, village health volunteers are at the frontline.  Trained volunteers, such as Mak Saeun, screen for Falciparum malaria and can treat other strains.
    He says there used to be a lot of malaria in the region. But as the trees have been cut down on the hills, and people have begun to use insecticide-treated mosquito nets, the numbers are down.  Between 2006 and 2008, Cambodia almost halved its malaria cases, to about 54,000.

    Now the appearance of the drug-resistant Falciparum in Cambodia, however, raises concerns that it will spread across Southeast Asia. The World Health Organization gathered regional experts and health workers to find ways to ensure success in the fight against malaria.

    Major Stuart Tyner is with a U.S. Army medical team studying malaria. He says the malaria parasite eventually adapts to a single medicine. So using two or more drugs can stem resistance.

    "There's always a concern that when resistance to any kind of medicine develops … that it's going to spread," said Tyner. "So, the idea that by changing the drug, you will be able to kill parasites that are becoming resistant to the old drug with a new drug. Once you do that, you are back to a level playing field, where the old drug can still work."

    Fake drugs and the unregulated use of single drug treatments help create resistance. Both are common in poor areas of the world, like Pailin.  The Cambodian government has flooded the region with combination drugs, called ACTs, and is cracking down on unregistered drug stores.

    But aid workers worry that many private drug stores and health care providers are left out.

    Cris Jones is with Population Services International, which distributes anti-malaria kits and trains drug sellers on proper treatments. He says unregistered sellers must have access to ACTs.

    "Seventy-five percent of Cambodians, when they go to seek access for treatment for malaria, they do so in the private sector," said Jones.  "It is important that we support the private sector to make sure they've got high-quality government approved ACTs, that they are treating properly, that they are diagnosing properly."

    Although the WHO and Cambodia's Center for Malaria Control say the effort to contain the resistant strain is paying off, they warn the fight is far from over.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora