Narong Sahametapat, permanent secretary for public health, said after inspecting hospitals in Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanburi and Payathonsu in Kawkareik district on the Myanmar border that 9,196 people have been reported suffering from malaria since early this year. Six of them have died.
The number of malaria patients in Kanchanaburi reached 1,800 since January – the second highest province after Tak which is also opposite the Myanmar border in Thailand’s North.
Sixty per cent of the malaria patients were Myanmar nationals, while 40 per cent were Thai.
Dr Narong said the Global Fund has contributed Bt3-4 million annually to hire volunteers to work at 60 malaria treatment units and 25 clinics on the Thai-Myanmar border in Kanchanaburi.
Worksites for Myanmar workers are sprayed with anti-malaria chemicals twice a year, he said.
He said about 10 per cent of Myanmar patients who were resistant to malaria drugs available in their own country crossed the border to seek medical treatment on the Thai side.
Dr Narong said health officials and volunteers at 760 malaria service units and clinics have provided health services to people from both sides of the border and gave free blood checks.