Thailand partners with U.S. and Lao PDR to fight malaria
Thailand, Lao PDR and the U.S. are joining forces to fight malaria. Health workers have completed the first in a series of trilateral trainings aimed at ending malaria in the region.
Southeast Asia is the region with the second-highest number of malaria cases in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which called the mosquito-borne disease “a serious and persistent threat to public health.”
Thailand has one of the strongest public health sectors of any developing nation and has made strong gains in its fight against malaria. Although it is rare to find malaria cases in places such as Bangkok, Thailand’s border areas with neighboring countries are hot spots for the disease.
According to the Statista website, there were 5.4 million cases of malaria across all of Southeast Asia in 2021. That is already a dramatic decline from 2012 when the region recorded 17.8 million cases.
Thailand’s Division of Vector Borne Diseases led and implemented the two-week training in March in three locations: Bangkok, Phitsanulok province, and Tak province. Bangkok and Phitsanulok are centrally located and so not a high-risk region, but Tak along the western border is on the front line.
“The U.S. through USAID (United States Agency for International Development) is honored to expand its development partnership with Thailand, a regional leader in public health, the environment, and digital economy, to co-fund development cooperation projects in third countries across Southeast Asia,” said the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.
“This is the first trilateral activity of several planned under the new USAID – TICA (Thailand International Cooperation Agency) Strategic Partnership Agreement. Our strong relations have improved lives for Thais and Americans alike and continue to make our countries more prosperous and secure,” added the Embassy.