Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Patient records lost in fire in commune hit with HIV outbreak

Patient records lost in fire in commune hit with HIV outbreak

Authorities collect evidence at a Battambang province medical centre after a large number of HIV cases were uncovered in Roka commune in 2014.
Authorities collect evidence at a Battambang province medical centre after a large number of HIV cases were uncovered in Roka commune in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Patient records lost in fire in commune hit with HIV outbreak

Records for one out of every three HIV patients were lost this month when a fire destroyed computers at Battambang province’s Roka Referral Hospital, which is located in an area hit by one of Cambodia’s worst HIV outbreaks in recent memory.

Eng Samnang, director of the Roka Referral Hospital, said that on January 7, one building at the hospital housing equipment and vaccinations was destroyed by a fire caused by an electric malfunction. Samnang said no HIV medication was lost during the fire, but some patients’ records were lost when the computers were consumed.

The records consist of the patients’ identities, home addresses, medication, medical history and patient progress. According to Samnang there are currently 266 patients in Roka commune.

“We thought it was going to be difficult, but now we informed the people, so when they come, we can start [taking their details] again,” he said.

Roka Referral Hospital in Battambang province goes up in flames. Facebook
Roka Referral Hospital in Battambang province goes up in flames. Facebook

A HIV outbreak swept through Roka commune in 2014 when unlicensed doctor Yem Chroeum spread the virus to nearly 300 villagers by using tainted needles. Chroeum was sentenced to 25 years in prison in December 2015.

A day after the fire, the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STDs sent officials down to the hospital to provide support, Samnang said. The centre provided support in helping retrieve some information from the computers.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,