A TOTAL of eight cases of fatal watery diarrhoea were reported in four provinces Sunday, bringing the number of deaths from sporadic outbreaks of the illness to 39 across the country this year.
Health officials from Kampong Thom, Kratie, Stung Treng and Ratanakkiri provinces all reported new deaths from watery diarrhoea, including the deaths of three teenaged siblings in Kampong Thom.
Ou Khy Lay, superintendent of Kratie provincial hospital, said the outbreak had become so serious in his province that he was concerned health officials could not “endure” if it continued much longer.
“At least 10 people are hospitalised per day because of the epidemic of acute watery diarrhoea, and most of them are in alarmingly serious condition,” he said. “We have educated the villagers about sanitation, but infections still keep occurring”.
Sorn Vuthy, deputy director of the Stung Treng provincial Health Department, said the epidemic had been caused by aridity, a lack of sanitation and inability to access toilets.
Meanwhile, health officials in Ratanakkiri said they had recalled quick-response workers who were sent out across the province at the beginning of this month to try to contain the outbreaks – despite reporting another death from the illness. The province has reported a total of 16 diarrhoea deaths so far this year.