Relapsing malaria

Relapsing malaria

Pring Chon, a soya bean and cassava farmer from Oslev Village, Cambodia

Photo: Damien Schumann/MMV


Pring Chon is a soya bean and cassava farmer from Oslev Village, Cambodia, where he lives with his wife and children. He has suffered with malaria more than 12 times in his life; on one occasion it led to severe malaria and he had to be hospitalized. Pring has been infected with P. vivax malaria that lies dormant in the liver only to relapse periodically, without warning and in the absence of a new infective mosquito bite.

“I feel bad with this illness,” Pring explained. “When I’m infected, I can’t work and my wife can’t work.”

This debilitating disease affects Pring regularly. In Cambodia, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are used to treat blood-stage malaria infections, leading to quick relief of symptoms; but there are no medicines routinely used in the country to cure malaria relapses. Without treatments aimed at eliminating the dormant liver parasite they continue to suffer.