Delegates from the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance Secretariat (APLMA) have reaffirmed their commitment to supporting the Cambodian Ministry of Health in efforts to eradicate all forms of malaria by 2025.

The stance was confirmed at a November 29 meeting between the ministry’s standing secretary of state Youk Sambath and Xavier Xuanhao Chan, executive vice-president in charge of strategy at APLMA, as reported by the ministry.

Chan expressed his intention to persist in collaborating with the Kingdom’s National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM), as well as other relevant ministries.

“APLMA will continue to support the health ministry in the eradication of malaria in Cambodia, developing a roadmap for sustainability and a plan detailing timelines, expenditures and the roles and responsibilities of partners, to contribute to the health system after malaria is eliminated,” he stated.

Sambath expressed her gratitude to the group for its past support in eliminating malaria in the country, particularly in the Asia-Pacific and Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) areas.

“We encourage APLMA to consider further cooperation with the [ministry] and relevant departments to expedite the implementation of the priority plan to eliminate all types of malaria by 2025, as outlined by the ministry in line with the seventh-mandate government’s Pentagonal Strategy-Phase I,” she said.

According to the ministry, APLMA has been collaborating with the CNM to assist in malaria elimination efforts since 2015. This includes developing high-level frameworks for the country and region, known as malaria eradication roadmaps.

The body’s ongoing work with the CNM has encompassed various initiatives. These include facilitating resource mobilisation for health plans related to malaria elimination, coordinating technical expertise and jointly developing sustainable plans for both malaria eradication and prevention of its recurrence.

On National Malaria Day, April 25 this year, the government issued a letter affirming its commitment to completely eradicate the disease. The letter highlighted the success of the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (NSP 2011-25), noting significant milestones, such as halting the drug-resistant strain in 2016 and achieving zero malaria-related deaths from 2018 onwards.

The letter also reported a dramatic reduction in cases, from over 110,000 and an average of more than 500 deaths annually before 2011 to just 4,041 cases in 2022.