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At dusk a young buy jumps into the Se Kong River for his evening bath in the provincial town of Stung Treng, 480 km NE from Phnom Penh. During the Vietnam War this portion of the Ho Chi Minh Trail was heavily bombed.
Although bed nets have lowered the incidence of malaria for children who go to sleep early under the nets, for their the parents the challenge to roll back malaria remains.
In Patang village a fresh set of bed nets are distributed and soaked with insecticide in plastic bags. About 80% of confirmed malaria cases in Cambodia are caused by P. falciprium with multi-drug resistance recorded since the 1980’s.
The demand for insecticide-impregnated bed nets is far greater than the supply, says Dr. Chheang, “ We need more nets, this small quantity cannot satisfy all the needs of Cambodians for protection from malaria. But we must be realistic."
Before an early morning departure for their farm plots, Champkas, Phak Nam villagers bring their bed nets to be re-treated with insecticide by the team of doctors Yeang Chheang and Vannara.
In Patang village, Village Malaria Worker Tuk Tang, poses, holding baby, in Patang. The villagers here lived along the forest fringe where malaria is endemic. Along with her husband, Kaam Lamo, age 35, Tuk Tang was recruited three years ago to be a VMW.
In Patang village where members of the ethnic Tum Puon minority reside, malaria is endemic here along the forest fringe where villagers marginally subsist .