Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Women's group reports concern over health conditions in Cambodia



Women's group reports concern over health conditions in Cambodia

Women's group reports concern over health conditions in Cambodia

There has been no improvement in Cambodia's health situation over the past two years,

according to the American Women's Commission. A four-member delegation from that

organization was recently here for 10 days to access the country's health problems,

then offer suggestions on how to correct them.

Focusing primarily on mother-and-child health in the two remaining Cambodian refugee

camps, Site 2 and Khao-i-Dang, the delegation came up with a long list of problems,

and an even longer list of suggestions.

"Infant mortality in Cambodia is still one of the highest in the world,"

reported the delegation, "with one in five children dying before the age of

five ... Tuberculosis also remains a major health threat." Regarding AIDS and

other sexually transmitted diseases, Dr. Patricia Walker, co-chair of the delegation,

said, "I think Cambodia is now in the early stages of what could be an epidemic."

She then talked about the country's rapidly expanding sex industry, and called for

"an immediate end to the exploitative trade in women."

Other items of concern listed in the delegation's report include the malnutrition

and stunted growth of Cambodian village children, a lack of emphasis in the country

on educating women, and an insufficient number of trained medical personnel at the

border camps.

The delegation also commented on broader health-related topics. Among these were

the importance of supplying provisions of clean water - "the basis of good health,"

and the need for removing mines from the country. "It is important, for example,

to return the 20 percent of Battambang that is mined, to agricultural use,"

said Dr. Anne Goldfeld, another co-chair of the delegation.

Their report suggested getting rid of the mines through increased funding of the

CMAC (Cambodian Mine Action Center). To solve or limit the other health problems,

recommendations were made to slow the pace of the final repatriation of those remaining

in the camps to allow UNHCR to easier relocate returnees; develop widespread family-planning

programs; commit significant resources to expanding human-rights issues in educational

curriculums; continue a UN presence after the May elections; and encourage the participation

of Cambodian NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in the country's development.

As to where the money would come from to pay for all of this, Walker responded, "We

recommend that the US $880 million pledged at the June 1992 Tokyo Conference be spent

now." With only US $95 million of the pledged money disbursed, she said, "Donors

are hedging their bets, and while they do this, Cambodians are dying. But without

peace and security, none of our recommendations can be acted upon."

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • More than 5K workers rush from Thailand amid outbreak

    Following the recent outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province, Cambodian migrants working in Thailand were gripped by worry over the situation and many rushed to return to their homeland. Over the past 10 days, more than 5,000 migrant workers have returned from Thailand through