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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Disability survey underscores war legacy

Disability survey underscores war legacy

Cambodia is one of just three countries in which “war” is cited as the top cause of disability over the past 23 years, according to a survey of 188 countries released earlier this month.

The study, published in the Lancet, examined disability and disease, ranking the top 10 causes of disability in each nation.

Every country listed back pain and major depression as a top-10 disability, with lower-back pain as the leading cause in most developed nations.

However, Cambodia, Rwanda and Nicaragua, home to some of the most violent conflicts of recent decades, were the only countries cited where violence was the leading cause of disability.

In Cambodia, landmines and exploded ordnance alone have caused 44,630 injuries between 1979 and 2013, according to the Cambodia Mine/UXO Victim Information System.

“Non-fatal dimensions of disease and injury will require more and more attention from health systems,” the Lancet report reads.

Following war, the most common causes of disability and disease in Cambodia were iron deficiencies, back pain, migraines, respiratory illness, depression and schizophrenia.

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