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News Article

From Bankok Post -

HEADLINE:

Malaria threat to soldiers

DATELINE: January 10, 2000

BYLINE: Wassana Nanuam

The resurgence of malaria in border areas is causing major concern in the military as it poses a serious health threat to soldiers posted to the areas.

Lt-Gen Preeyapas Nilubol, chief of Medical Department, said the situation in Tak, along the Burmese border - especially Mae Ramat, Tha Song Yang, Umphang and Phop Phra - was particularly worrisome.

The situation on the border with Cambodia where refugees shelter was also a problem.

He blamed the spread of the disease on refugees from Burma and Cambodia. As long as they remained there soldiers would be exposed to a grave health threat, he said. The troops were also at fault for ignoring precautions against infection, despite warnings.

The department was testing a new drug called tafenoquine and results had so far been satisfactory, he said.

One dose of tafenoquine a month was about 97% effective and the department was considering testing its use on a weekly basis.

Doxycycline is commonly used to treat malaria, but the drug becomes less effective after being used for a time, he said.

It was also announced the spread of HIV infection in the army has declined from 3.7% of soldiers in 1993 to 1.6% last year.

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