How do you design a malaria elimination programme for hard-to-reach communities who already have difficulty accessing health care? This is the question confronting malaria workers across the Greater Mekong subregion.
Malaria cases in Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic are mostly found among people living and working in or around the remote forests that cover parts of both countries. Dense trees and plenty of shade provide the perfect breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that carry malaria.
These isolated areas are also home to indigenous and minority communities that may not speak Khmer or Lao. Here, many families practice traditional forms of healing and are not affiliated with national health providers as the closest clinics can be hours away. In these settings, malaria workers must go the extra mile to ensure that communities understand malaria prevention and facilitate elimination efforts.