Archive for Hygiene

Health in Cambodia

Posted in Countries, Latest of Asienreisender with tags , , , , , , on July 21, 2013 by Thim Kwai

Since the hygienic standards are so low in Cambodia it’s important to have an eye on food cleanliness. The food stalls in Cambodia are of dubious hygienic quality. Best to eat only at places where many other guests go, then the food is rather fresh and it shows that many locals show trust in the place. Better eating to less than catching a disease. It’s a good country for having a diet.

Most of the occuring health problems in Cambodia are the usual suspects: diarrhoea, hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus and polio.

The most scary tropical disease is probably malaria, at least it’s in everybodies mind who travels here and still there is no satisfying prophylaxis for it. Another, not less bad disease transferred by mosquitoes is dengue fever; it comes in four different variations and there is no prophylaxis neither a treatment for it. Chikungunya is kind of a variation of dengue, a ‘new’ disease. Malaria occurs everywhere in the tropes, in the last years it’s even coming (back) to western countries. Another very bad mosquito transferred disease is the Japanese encephalitis, a brain inflammation which ends mostly lethal or at least with severe handicaps afterwards. The rural parts of Cambodia are more likely malaria and dengue infested than Phnom Penh and the province capitals, but again, it appeares everywhere.

Rabies is an untreatable disease transferred by bites from mostly dogs or sometimes cats. It’s in almost 100% of the cases lethal. A prophylaxic vaccination is possible and advisable for people who stay for longer in Cambodia or generally in Southeast Asia.

HIV / AIDS is meanwhile widespread in Cambodia. Transfer is possible by sexual contacts, blood transfusions, tatoos and used syringes.

More potential diseases are bird flu, tuberculosis (many more cases here than in western countries) and bilharzia (schistosomiasis, as a result of swimming in freshwater lakes or rivers).

The health situation in Ratanakiri is the worst in whole Cambodia. All the mentioned diseases and more are endemic in Ratanakiri, and the province has the highest rate of child and general mortality in the country. Around 23% of the children there die before getting five years old. The diseases come together with a lack of fresh water supplies and malnutrition, great poverty, poor infrastructure of all kind particularly medical care, cultural and social barriers between the local hill tribe people of the Khmer Loeu and the majority Khmer People and deprivation due to land grabbing, destruction of the natural environments and violent displacements.

The situation in the neighbouring Mondulkiri Province looks similar.

Know…

This is only a part of the illustrated article ‘Cambodia’. Read the whole article on Cambodia by Asienreisender.

Keep yourself up-to-date

Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender

Food in Cambodia

Posted in Countries, Latest of Asienreisender with tags , , , , , , on July 21, 2013 by Thim Kwai

In food quality and variety Cambodia can not cope with it’s western neighbour Thailand, which cuisine is clearly among the most delicious and versatile in the world. The common restaurants and food stalls, particularly the ones on the Cambodian markets, look mostly very poor, basic, neglected and pretty dirty. The restaurants are normally populated with masses of flies who are attracted by the lack of cleanliness, particularly by the food remains who are splashed around.

It’s always pretty difficult for me to find a restaurant where it looks half way well, at least outside of the tourist sector. The touristic restaurants give a better impression on the first glance – if the food is really better and the kitchens cleaner is another question. Only one thing is sure: the prices there double, triple or quadruple up.

It has to be considered that the quality of the food in general varies much. There is good food available, say rice and vegetables and various dishes made from it. Many dishes are too fat respectively oily, though. A great deal of the available food is fried in cheap oils with a high amount of cholesterol. The meat is not seldom very old and of doubious sources. Particularly what is sold as pork can be whatever – worm, snake, rat, dog, cat… – difficult to identify. Since many locals eat anything, they don’t mind. It’s actually a good reason to become a vegetarian. Another good reason for that would be just to watch carefully how the animals here are treated.

Generally is the Cambodian cuisine based on fish as a protein source. Chicken is relatively seldom to get and it is pretty expensive (I found it five times as expensive as in Thailand, and the quality therefore lower). Pork and beef in the market stalls are laid out openly, roughly displayed on wooden banks or desks, waiting there over hours or whole days for a buyer. In the meantime the notorious masses of flies besiege it, and bypassing dogs or cats might put their snouts on it before being dispelled by the saleswoman.

Since there is more food available in Cambodia than in the poor times just a few years ago, many locals tend to eat too much. Presumably it’s also still a status symbol to get fat. Anyway, overweight is widespread here meanwhile, what wasn’t so in recent years. Too much fat, oil, sugar, salt make an unhealthy food habit; highly processed industrial food is also known for it’s addictive contents.

Know…

This is only a part of the illustrated article ‘Cambodia’. Read the whole article on Cambodia by Asienreisender.

Keep yourself up-to-date

Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender