Cambodia records more cases of malaria and dengue fever in 2009

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Cambodia has seen a rise in reported cases of dengue fever and malaria in 2009, local media reported Jan. 5, citing health officials here.

Ngan Chantha, director of dengue control at the Ministry of Health, was quoted by the Cambodia Daily as saying that there were 11,652 cases and 37 deaths reported in 2009 compared with 9,456 reported cases and 65 deaths in 2008.

While dengue fever infections increased 23 percent, deaths were down by 43 percent, he said, according to Xinhua.

When asked if he expected the number to increase in 2010, Chantha said it would depend on how well people protect themselves and their families from the mosquito-born virus.

Figures for malaria cases in 2009 are still being tallied, according to officials from the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization, but are already higher than in 2008, when there were 58,887 cases and 209 deaths.

In 2009, 60,157 recorded malaria cases led to 213 deaths from January through September.

"We don't have the full numbers, we're still collecting the totals from the provinces, but yes, in 2009 there were more cases than in 2008," said Duong Socheat, director of the National Center for Parisitology, Entomology and Malaria Control. He blamed more migrant movement and more mobility for more cases of malaria.