Thailand should be free of malaria by 2024, declares DDC

SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2022

Thailand should have eradicated malaria by 2024, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) announced ahead of World Malaria Day, which will be marked on Monday.

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, DDC director-general, said on Sunday that Thailand was motivated by the World Malaria Day 2022 theme – “Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives” – to take on the challenge.

Opas explained that Thailand should successfully eradicate the disease within two years thanks to the new innovative strategy it has been using to fight malaria since 2017. He said this scheme has already brought infections down by 72 per cent as of last year compared to before 2017.

Since January this year, Thailand has seen 731 malaria infections, 17 of whom were found to have contracted the severe P.falciparum strain. Those affected by the severe strain were found in Surat Thani, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Opas said his department aims to get rid of the severe strain by next year in line with the target set by the World Health Organisation.

He added that the Public Health Ministry is cooperating with the Defence, Interior and Education ministries to launch public awareness campaigns.

Meanwhile, Dr Chanthana Padungthet, director of the National Vector Borne Disease Prevention and Control Division, said her division will launch a Facebook Live session on Monday to hold special online activities to mark World Malaria Day.

The Facebook session will feature video clips and a seminar providing tips on how people can protect themselves from the disease.