Archive for Poverty

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.


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

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