The Mondulkiri provincial health department on Wednesday shuttered a private clinic belonging to a local official after it was found to be treating dengue fever patients, which is prohibited under a new provincial regulation.
The provision was implemented by the department earlier this year when it discovered clinics didn’t have diagnostic equipment and couldn’t offer appropriate treatment for the mosquito-borne viral infection. Bun Sour, director of the provincial health department, said the clinic in question belonged to Pok Vitou, a health official in the department.
According to Sour, the department had received permission from the Ministry of Health to implement the regulation requiring all private clinics to refer dengue patients to the provincial hospital. Vitou was following the regulation, then recently began to treat patients in his private clinic, Sour said.
Vitou, who could not be reached for comment, had been warned by officials before. “Dengue cases are very dangerous if the patient doesn’t get appropriate treatment in time,” he said. “Most private clinics don’t have enough equipment to test it, that’s why we prohibited all private clinics” from treating such patients.
Ministry of Health spokesman Ly Sovann said Mondulkiri has had a high number of dengue fever cases, but the number has gone down after a public health response by local authorities. The province has seen more than 300 cases, but no deaths so far this year, he said.
From January to May, the country saw 1,915 cases and four deaths, Sovann said.
Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro