Feature

The village recruiter

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Science  22 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6284, pp. 407
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6284.407

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Summary

One of the biggest challenges to eliminating malaria in the Mekong region is the so-called asymptomatic reservoir—people who carry the parasite with no symptoms but who, to some unknown extent, are still involved in disease transmission. One controversial strategy for "draining" this reservoir is mass drug administration (MDA). Now being tested in Cambodia and elsewhere, MDA entails giving antimalarial drugs to everyone in a village whether or not they are sick. But before the work can begin, researchers first have to win the trust of the often-skeptical communities. In a study in Pailin, Cambodia, that has been the job of the community outreach worker Chhoeun Heng.