Malaria Cases on the Rise, NMSP Says

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The number of malaria cases in the New Mon State Party’s (NMSP) territory has increased this year, NMSP representatives said.

Nai Banyar Lel, who is in charge of the NMSP’s domestic affairs department, said that in previous years, malaria was on the decline, then sharply went up this year in the areas under their control in Mon and Karen states and Tanintharyi Region.

“It especially increased in Ye Chaung Pyar, Yephyu Township and Phayathongsu, in the border area,” Nai Banyar Lel told NMG.

He said that the NMSP’s health workers have been working to treat the illness, but have been facing difficulties doing so amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding restrictions.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) has already stated that COVID-19 will exist alongside human beings for a long time to come. People need to follow the health guidelines of the WHO, the government, and the NMSP. Some people are having difficulties during the COVID-19 period because of the travel restrictions. We want to say people need to be understanding of it,” Nai Banyar Lel explained.

The current time of year—rainy season—also puts people at increased risk for seasonal flu.

This combination of contagious diseases, and the limitations imposed trying to contain them, pose extra difficulties for villagers, Nai Banyar Lel said.

“Local people will suffer a lot, including [regarding] their daily survival, economic situation and education,” he told NMG.

People in NMSP’s areas in Kyainseikgyi and Kawkareik townships in Karen State are also in need of food rations, he added.

The NMSP is one of 11 ethnic armed organizations signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the government and military.