Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prey Veng prisoners stricken by sickness

Prey Veng prisoners stricken by sickness

Prey Veng prisoners stricken by sickness

AN outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea cases in Prey Veng provincial prison has stricken 63 inmates, five of whom are in serious condition, the country’s top prison official said yesterday.

One inmate died of the illness late last week after being taken to hospital, but Heng Hak, director of the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Prisons, said yesterday that many of the sick prisoners were recovering.

“In Prey Veng prison, only one prisoner has died because of diarrhoea, while the number of inmates with diarrhoea has increased to 63,” Heng Hak said.

“Only five patients are in serious condition, while the others are only slightly ill because they received medical treatment on time.”
He added that he was concerned the inmates might be sick with cholera.

Nou Sophal, technical director of the Prey Veng Health Department, said yesterday that he did not know whether tests were being run for cholera.

A report released by the rights group Licadho last week warned that Cambodia’s prisons could be the most overcrowded in the world in fewer than 10 years unless steps are taken to reduce inmate totals.

Overcrowding exacerbates poor hygiene and contributes to the spread of illnesses such as diarrhoea.

The outbreak in Prey Veng marks at least the third time since May that prison officials have sought intervention from health officials to address a diarrhoea outbreak.

In May, Pursat provincial prison saw 54 inmates fall ill, Phun Chhin, a prison researcher for Licadho, said yesterday. He added, though, that the situation in the facility had since improved.

“It is better for the present time. Recently the prisoners haven’t encountered [diarrhoea] again after they improved their sanitation and started drinking boiled water,” he said.

Earlier this month, officials at Preah Sihanouk provincial prison sent five inmates to hospital after 10 came down with severe vomiting and diarrhoea, an outbreak that was also attributed to poor sanitation.

MOST VIEWED

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will

  • Chinese-owned shops are on the rise in central Phnom Penh

    Informal businesses owned by Chinese nationals are on the rise in central Phnom Penh, especially in Tonle Bassac commune, surrounding Koh Pich. Such businesses have sprung up notably in Central Market, Orussey Market, Sovanna Shopping Mall, Rattana Plaza, as well as Kakab commune across from

  • Sihanoukville authorities find 83 rubbish-packed containers

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state,

  • ‘Cambodia Democracy Act’ passed by US House

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by th US president, the bill would allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking