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

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.