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Posts tagged ‘Cambodia’

Cambodia bans smoking shisha and e-cigarettes

File photo: A person holds an electronic cigarette. (AFP/FRANCK FIFE)

Cambodia has banned e-cigarettes and shisha pipes, saying the increasingly popular products contain damaging levels of nicotine and are leading young people to take up smoking.

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia has banned e-cigarettes and shisha pipes, saying the increasingly popular products contain damaging levels of nicotine and are leading young people to take up smoking.

The National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) ordered authorities to immediately cease the import, use and sale of shisha tobacco and pipes and e-cigarettes across the country, according to a directive issued to local authorities on Wednesday.

The NACD said that while neither is classified as a drug, they contain high levels of nicotine that “affect the health more seriously than cigarettes”.

Cigarettes are widespread in Cambodia but over recent years wealthy, young Cambodian smokers are also turning to shisha lounges, especially in the tourist hubs of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Shisha, also known as hookah or hubbly-bubbly, is a Middle-Eastern tradition of smoking flavoured tobacco via pipes and a water bowl.

E-cigarettes — battery-powered devices that simulate smoking by heating and vaporising a liquid solution containing nicotine — have also won a small but growing customer base in the kingdom.

The directive ordered authorities to confiscate shisha tobacco, pipes and e-cigarette paraphernalia, saying young people are being distracted from their studies by socialising over shisha.

The move prompted dismay from businesses serving shisha.

Lem Oudom, manager of The Sands shisha lounge in the capital, said the ban was “unfair” because the fruit-flavoured tobacco does not contain illicit drugs.

But he said he would follow the order and cease selling shisha.

According to a 2005 study by the World Health Organisation (WHO), water pipe smoke contains high concentrations of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals, cancer-causing chemicals and potentially addictive levels of nicotine.

Smokers also inhale quantities of smoke many times larger and thicker than generated by normal cigarettes.

Research on e-cigarettes is less conclusive.

Supporters claim they are a harmless and valuable tool in helping smokers to quit and could save millions of lives.

But the World Health Organisation has advised against them, saying their potential health risk “remains undetermined”.

Sales of electronic cigarettes have surged globally, with tobacco manufacturers jumping on the trend.

Governments have struggled with how to regulate the product since its emergence.

In October, European lawmakers rejected a bid to classify e-cigarettes as medicinal products, which would have restricted their sale to pharmacies.

– AFP/xq

via Cambodia bans smoking shisha and e-cigarettes – Channel NewsAsia.

Cambodia reports 14th human case of bird flu this year – Xinhua |

PHNOM PENH, July 12 (Xinhua) — A three-year-old boy from Cambodia’s eastern Prey Veng province has been confirmed positive for the avian influenza H5N1, bringing the number of the cases to 14 so far this year, a joint statement by the World Health Organization and Cambodian Health Ministry said Friday.

Only five cases out of the 14 cases this year survived.

The 14th victim was confirmed positive for H5N1 on Wednesday, the statement said, adding that the boy was admitted to the Kantha Bopha Hospital with fever, dyspnea and cough Monday. “At the hospital, he was treated with Tamiflu and is currently in stable condition,”it said. “There were recent deaths among poultry in the village and the boy was likely to be exposed to sick and dead poultry before he became sick,”it added.

Avian influenza H5N1 remained a serious threat to the health of all Cambodians, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said. “Children also seem to be most vulnerable and are at high risk because they like to play where poultry are found,”he said in the statement.”I urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry and make sure children wash their hands with soap and water after any contact with poultry.”

H5N1 influenza is a flu that normally spreads between sick poultry, but it can sometimes spread from poultry to humans, the statement said, adding that it is a very serious disease that requires hospitalization.

Cambodia sees the worst outbreak of the virus this year since the disease was first identified in 2004. To date, the country has recorded 35 human cases of the virus, killing 28 people.

Since 2003, there have been 633 laboratory confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus globally with 376 related deaths, the statement said.

via Cambodia reports 14th human case of bird flu this year – Xinhua |

“Learn from Cambodia to reduce HIV cases” – Latest – New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: Following the success of Cambodia in reducing the number of HIV/AIDS patients and new infections, a medical specialist called on the need for stronger HIV/AIDS programmes and for a one-stop centre for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Hospital Sungai Buloh senior consultant and infectious disease physician Datuk Dr Christopher Lee said the programmes, however, should be integrated for a stronger network to better combat HIV/AIDS.

“We already have the programmes in place. We have programmes for HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and Hepatitis C, but these are all stand-alone programmes.

“Some have already began to integrate, it is just the matter of speeding up and strengthening the whole process,” he said at the 7th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention 2013 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, here, yesterday.

He said the integration system done in Cambodia was exemplary, and that Malaysia is already in the right direction.

In the conference, director of the National Centre for HIV, Dermatology and STI (sexually transmitted infections) of Cambodia Dr Mean Chhi Vun in his opening plenary remarks said Cambodia had managed to reduce the HIV prevalence from an estimated 1.7 per cent in 1998 to a projected 0.7 per cent in 2011.

It also managed to reduce the number of annual new HIV infections from 20,000 in the early 1990s to around 1,300 in 2012.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Dr. Lee said it is important to make treatment easy and accessible to people living with HIV/AIDS and that stakeholders and the society at large should understand that it is a country’s problem.

“We need early and focused interventions that are proven to not only reduce costs, but also be more effective in combating the spread of HIV.” There should be more focus on the high-risk group, he added, and that it was important to have updated data on the people who are at risk.

“Times have changed. Maybe ten years ago, people only used heroin but now there are all sorts of party drugs that can contribute to the transmission of HIV in many ways.

“It’s not just about drug abuse. There is also the factor of multiple sex partners and mother-to-child transmissions, and we will have to move our focus along with the changes in the epidemic,” he added.

Separately, Dr Lee said that there were special clinics to ease transition of children living with HIV to becoming adults living with HIV.

He said there was a missing link as adolescents living with HIV, where they are not getting the proper services to progress from treatments as children, and treatments as adults.

“As children, they may not fully comprehend what they are dealing with. They are being given the medication and will take it without much question. “As they grow older, they begin to understand what they have to deal with and this might bring their self-esteem down,” he said.

He added that with the availability of new treatments, more children are surviving and this should encourage more adolescent clinics, focusing on how the affected group can progress to adulthood with ease.

Dr Lee said an adolescent clinic run in Hospital Kuala Lumpur helps the adolescents living with HIV to phase out from child-HIV treatment to phasing in to adult-HIV treatment.

via “Learn from Cambodia to reduce HIV cases” – Latest – New Straits Times.

Cambodia reports eighth bird flu death, triggering fears

PHNOM PENH – A 35-year-old man has become Cambodia’s eighth bird flu fatality this year, prompting concern about the spread of the virus in the country, a health official said Tuesday.

The latest victim, from the northeastern province of Kampong Cham, died on Monday night from the H5N1 virus in a Phnom Penh hospital, said Ly Sovann, deputy head of the health ministry’s disease surveillance bureau.

He said the man had eaten two ducks which had previously died before he became sick earlier this month.

“We are really worried about the situation because in just two months we have nine cases of bird flu,” Ly Sovann told AFP.

Eight of the nine people died, along with thousands of birds in the villages where the victims lived.

“There was a lot of dead poultry, but the people did not report to (officials). In the villages that I went to, almost all poultry had died,” Ly Sovann said, adding it took up to a month for officials to be told of poultry deaths in some areas.

The health ministry has enhanced surveillance to try to detect and treat avian influenza cases in the early stages, he said.

“We are also worried about (possible) human-to-human transmission of bird flu, but it is not the case now,” said Ly Sovann.

He urged villagers immediately to report dead poultry and not to touch or eat the birds.

Sonny Krishnan, communications officer with the World Health Organisation in Cambodia, said it was keeping “a close watch” on the situation. “The disease is still of limited transmittability from poultry to humans,” he said.

Cambodia has recorded 30 human cases of H5N1 since 2003, with all but three of them proving fatal.

The virus has killed more than 365 people worldwide since a major outbreak in 2003, according to WHO statistics.

It typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact. But experts fear it could mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans, with the potential to trigger a pandemic.

– See more at:

Vietnamese doctors offer free eye surgeries in Cambodia

A Vietnamese doctor performs an eye surgery (for illustration only)
Photo: VNA


More than 60 voluntary doctors and nurses from the 175 Hospital under the Ministry of National Defence and the Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital are providing free eye surgeries and eye tests for soldiers, poor people and Overseas Vietnamese in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from September 21-24.

The programme, conducted for the 11th time with the coordination of the 179 Hospital under the Cambodian Defence Ministry is expected to give free cataract surgery to 350 patients and provide medicines to 200 others.

Addressing the launching ceremony, General Ly Sovan, Director of the 179 Hospital highly valued the help of the Vietnam People’s Army, the 175 Hospital and the Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital, and their support in technology transfer, personnel training as well as equipment for the Cambodian healthcare sector and the 179 Hospital in particular.

Such programmes reflect the solidarity, friendship and cooperation between the armies and peoples of Vietnam and Cambodia, said Ly Sovan.

During the past 5 years, the voluntary doctors and nurses have performed free eye operations for more than 3,000 poor patients and offered free eye tests for thousands of others in Cambodia.

Cambodia mystery disease breakthrough

Cambodia mystery disease breakthrough

PHOTO: Researchers say they may have identified the cause behind a large number of mysterious child deaths in Cambodia. (Chor Sokunthea: Reuters)

Researchers say they may have identified the cause behind a large number of mysterious child deaths in Cambodia.

Dozens of children have died from an undiagnosed syndrome in the last three months.

Health experts now believe Cambodia’s outbreak may be linked to the same virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease.

Symptoms of the disease are high fever and rapid deterioration of respiratory function.

“They die by the complications in the lungs,” said Dr Beat Richner, who works at a free medical clinic in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh.

“We had 66 cases since the end of April and 64 have died.”

Cambodia’s Ministry of Health is now advising all health workers in the hospitals and health centres about the symptoms of the disease.

Keo Piseth, who has a young child, says he is worried about the disease.

“How can we take precautions if we don’t know what it is?” he said.

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