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US Ambassador Visits Malaria Research Sites in Cambodia

U.S. Ambassador William Todd distributes bed nets at a Malaria Week field site in Oddar Meanchey Province. (Photo courtesy of USAID)
U.S. Ambassador Visits Malaria Clinic in Cambodia
U.S. Ambassador William Todd distributes bed nets at a Malaria Week field site in Oddar Meanchey Province. (Photo courtesy of USAID)

U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia William Todd, together with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Director Sean Callahan, traveled to Anlong Veng in Northwest Cambodia last month for site visits to malaria research units.

They visited the joint Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) – Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2 (NAMRU-2) malaria drug treatment field site and USAID malaria control projects.

During the visit, the ambassador had a chance to see the patient enrollment and treatment process and spoke with a few of the patients. When asked about the quality of treatment one patient said, “I feel very fortunate to be able to be here and I am treated very well. I am very thankful that America is helping me and my family.”

Later, Todd had the opportunity to check out the laboratory and get a brief lesson on the day-to-day work. “I think the work the USG is doing in malaria treatment and control in Cambodia is amazing,” said Todd. “The lab technicians and hospital staff members were very helpful in helping me understand their work. I was humbled to learn how our support is saving and improving lives.”

The Army-Navy study is investigating the use of atovaquone-proguanil alone or with artusenate to treat falciparum malaria. The study will compare results from an area with artemisinin-resistant malaria (Anlong Veng), and an area without (Kratie). Since December 15, 2014, the Anlong Veng site has enrolled more than 25 patients.

“While we have faced a few setbacks along the way, we are enthusiastic about how the study is   progressing,” said Harrison. The Ambassador later visited several communes to distribute bed nets and to talk about malaria.

The site visit was used to promote the USG health sector development mission, while also explaining the growing importance the U.S. Department of Defense has placed on global health engagement.

Article courtesy of NAMRU-2 Public Affairs, edited for context and length.

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