International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Burma has started work on prevention of malaria among the poor and the workers who live in the jungles and plantations. They are providing free malaria diagnosis, treatment and mosquito nets in areas where malaria infection levels are high.

IOM teams are especially targeting those most at risk, living in precarious accommodations in the plantations and farms in Mudon, Kyaikmayaw, Thapyuzayart, and Moulmein (Mawlamyine) Townships in Mon state.

According to IOM Chief of Mission , dengue fever is breaking out in Mon State and malaria is at a high level.

“The rainy season is always peak season for malaria in this area, which is also facing infection because a lot of internal workers, who are working in rubber plantations in Mon area, come from areas where malaria is not-endemic and they have not developed any resistance to malaria,” said Isabelle Bouan, Chief of Mission.

“While waiting for the results of the malaria tests, we give the families some education on malaria prevention and give them either long lasting treated mosquito nets or pills to treat their own mosquito nets,” she added.

IOM started operating from April 2006, and has been running six (6) malaria control units in four townships since then. IOM is currently expanding and will cover six townships, where IOM will be implementing an integrated malaria, TB, and HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment or care and support programme.

IOM will operate fifteen (15) malaria microscopy units, nine (9) TB microscopy units and two malaria mobile clinics. Its target is internal migrant workers from various parts of Burma who are working in rubber plantations and other places, and communities affected by migration either because they host migrants or because they are source communities to which migrants come back to.