Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom leads Asia in cases of TB: ADB

Kingdom leads Asia in cases of TB: ADB

Kingdom leads Asia in cases of TB: ADB

CAMBODIA has the highest prevalence of tuberculosis in Asia and the Pacific, according to a new Asian Development Bank report - a fact that has come as no surprise to civil society actors, who say the disease has increasingly afflicted residents of poor rural areas as well as HIV-positive patients.

The 2009 version of Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific cited a tuberculosis prevalence rate of 665 per 100,000 people. The Philippines had the second-highest rate at 500.

The Cambodia figure has dropped significantly from 1990, when it stood at 928, but other countries that had previously reported similarly high figures have experienced more dramatic drops in the past two decades.

Mao Tan Eang, director of the National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control (CENAT), said Wednesday that the government was working to address the problem by expanding access to drugs, adding that nearly 2,000 drug outlets had been established.

Kek Galabru, president of the Cambodian rights group Licadho, acknowledged that the government, and CENAT in particular, had tried to lower the rate, but said access to drugs and proper medical care was inadequate, particularly in rural areas. Many public and private health care providers are "incompetent", she said.
She said the situation was particularly "fragile" for HIV/AIDS patients. Citing figures from Medecins Sans Frontieres, she said the prevalence rate for that group had risen from 2.5 percent in 1995 to 7.8 percent in 2007, and could be as high as 15 percent today.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all