At the closing of the Ministry of Health’s 36th annual conference in Phnom Penh yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ministry officials to put a lid on new HIV cases in Battambang province, where 277 people were diagnosed with the virus late last year.
The premier pointed to the unprecedented outbreak in Sangke district, traced to reused needles administered by an unlicensed doctor, as evidence of the need for professionalism across the industry, and called on the Health Ministry to educate both health workers and the HIV-positive on how to stem the spread of the disease.
“I ask that people do not discriminate against [HIV-positive individuals], and ask infected people not to transmit the disease to other people,” he said. “We must add whatever resources necessary in this place.”
Health Minister Mam Bunheng also spoke of the need to expand services for disease prevention and treatment for people with chronic diseases, pledging to “increase the effectiveness of public health intervention”.
Six HIV-positive people in Roka commune have died since the outbreak’s discovery.