Monday, May 25, 2009

Officials Say No A/H1N1 Detected in Cambodia

By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea and Soy Sophea

Cambodia’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) jointly announced on May 22 that Cambodia remains clear of A/H1N1 despite rumors to the contrary. This is according to Dr. Sok Touch, Director of the Anti-Communicable Disease Department in Ministry of Health.

“I would like to confirm that to date, there are no confirmed cases of the A/H1N1 virus in Cambodia.We remain vigilant and will continue to take all necessary preventative measures,” he said during a telephone interview with The Cambodia Weekly on May 22.
He said the national team included members of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the National Committee for Disaster Management, the World Health Organization, and other related ministries, all pulling together to prevent appearance of the disease.
Dr. Sok Touch also said that the Ministry of Health would be able to stamp on the disease should it appear, using existing equipment and monitoring systems set up at airports and border crossings.
A joint press statement released by the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization stated “…that as of 22 May 2009, no cases of Influenza A/H1N1 virus have been confirmed in the country.”
It added, “The Ministry of Health received an official communication from the Korean Embassy mentioning three individuals who were on the same flight from USA to Korea with a passenger who was later confirmed to have Influenza A/H1N1.”

The three individuals subsequently flew on a separate flight to Phnom Penh on Sunday May 17, 2009. At the time of their arrival in Cambodia, the three passengers did not display any influenza symptoms. Ministry of Health officials are now seeking to locate these passengers to assess their wellbeing and to offer them testing, the press statement added.

The statement went on to say that the Ministry of Health is working closely with all relevant authorities and continues to monitor the situation closely. In accordance with the Royal Government of Cambodia’s National Pandemic Plan, the Ministry of Health is the only official source for information relating to the status of Influenza A/H1N1 in the country and will continue to keep the public well informed if, and when a case is found via its website. This can be accessed at

The statement continued “The Ministry of Health reminds all members of the public to practice good hygiene measures at all times” and went on to describe some of these measures. These include…

1. Stifle coughs and sneezes with a tissue 2. Wash your hands often with soap 3. Do not spit in public. 3. Anyone who has traveled from an affected area in the past seven days and has developed a fever with cough, sore throat or shortness of breath are strongly advised to contact the Ministry of Health’s Influenza Hotline: 012 489 981 or 089 669 567 for further advice.

Dr. Sok Touch said that the Ministry of Health has prepared a total of 157, 500 doses of medicine, along with other medical supplies and equipment, and has distributed this material to all the state hospitals and health centers throughout the country.
He added that the World Health Organization has also donated a total of 154, 000 doses of medicines to the Ministry of Health in anticipation of the spread of A/H1N1 influenza in Cambodia.
According to World Health Organization report, so far 41 countries have confirmed cases of influenza A/H1N1 and 80 people have died so far. ////

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