In April 2014, Bill and Melinda Gates visited the Targeted Malaria Elimination (TME) study in Palin, Cambodia. The TME study is a collaboration between MORU and the Cambodian National Malaria Control Program and assesses the epidemiology and role of treatment of subclinical falciparum malaria. The visit was hosted by MORU’s Prof Arjen Dondorp, Drs Rupam Tripura and Tom Peto.
The Cambodian government has committed to eliminating falciparum malaria completely and as a result there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of malaria cases in Cambodia over the past decade. The Gates Foundation has played a role in pushing the malaria elimination agenda and has also contributed to the funding of the TME studies in South-East Asia.
As part of their visit, Bill and Melinda Gates visited Phnom Dambang village where they had the chance to meet the local community and village malaria workers. In this village, everyone is tested for the malaria parasite and free treatment is provided to anyone who tests positive. The aim of this approach is to identify and treat infected individuals who have no symptoms themselves but can act as a reservoir for the disease.
Bill Gates said about the visit on his blog:‘A lot more work needs to be done in the years to come. But I left Cambodia thinking that if we can be successful there, it will be a giant step toward the long-term goal of wiping out malaria everywhere.’