Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

Bird flu ruled out in duck deaths

January 31, 2011 Leave a comment
Ducks are wrangled from a farm in Tuol Ponrol village to a nearby pond
in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district earlier this month. There have been
no reported cases of Avian influenza in Cambodia this year. Photo by: Sovan Philong
About 600 ducks died this month in Banteay Meanchey province from
stress, not bird flu, provincial health officials said yesterday.

Touch, director of Banteay Meanchey provincial department of animal
health and production at the Ministry of Agriculture, said yesterday
that a laboratory at Phnom Penh’s Calmette hospital had tested a sample
of ducks that died inexplicably over the course of three days in
Mongkol Borei and Sisophon districts.

“We got the results of the examination on Friday, which confirmed that the dead ducks had no H5N1,” Huy Touch said.

“The deaths were caused by stress because those ducks were sent from place to place while the weather was cool.”

Touch said he initially suspected the ducks had died from a combination
of cholera, changes in the weather and a lack of farm sanitation or use
of vaccinations.

He added that his officers had told villagers
in the province to be careful with their poultry and not to eat ducks
that had been sick or died without explanation.

Ly Sovann,
deputy director of the Department of Communicable Disease Control at
the Ministry of Health, could not be reached for comment.

Sovann told a reporter from The Post on January 14 that “so far there
have been no [bird] flu cases found in Cambodia this year”.

Phnom Penh Post
Categories: Health Care, Local News

Cambodia making progress in war against fake medicines

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment


Counterfeit drugsCambodia’s
pharmaceutical market has long been undermined by rampant medicine
counterfeiting, but a recent effort by the government to stamp out
illegal pharmacies is having a positive impact, according to Business Monitor International.

with fake medicines, corruption and political stagnation pegged the
country’s drug market down to a tiny $170m in 2009. However, over the
last couple of years around 65 per cent of the country’s illegal
pharmacies have been shut down, says BMI in its latest report on the
country’s drug market.

The report also cites an October 2010 
medicine sampling study which found only 3 per cent of medicines sold
in urban and rural pharmacies were fake, although up to 9 per cent
failed quality testing (see also Cambodian study finds 3 per cent of medicines are counterfeit).

BMI believes pharmaceutical market growth could top 10 per cent over
the next five years, those forecasts carry quite a lot of risk from
“the lack of political and social stability, especially in the face of
widespread corruption and – more recently – violations of land rights
by government officials.”



Categories: Health Care, Local News

Southeast Asia seen beset by chronic, costly diseases

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment
A Philippine boy is innoculated against measles vaccine in a slum area
in Manila. Southeast Asia’s 600 million people are facing a raft of new
health challenges as the disaster-prone region undergoes some of the
world’s fastest social change, medical papers published Tuesday said.
People cover their mouths to try and prevent breathing in toxic fumes
in a busy Hong Kong shopping district. Controlling diseases is
difficult given the variety of economies and health systems across many
Asian nations.

HONG KONG, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Chronic illnesses including cancer,
heart disease and stroke caused 2.6 million deaths, or 60 percent of
all deaths, in Southeast Asia in 2005, and that will balloon to 4.2
million by 2030, researchers warned.

Apart from draining
personal and household incomes, national incomes would be sapped in the
form of lost labour and savings, they said in a paper published as part
of a special edition on Southeast Asia in The Lancet on Tuesday.
Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines,
Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were among the countries surveyed by
the journal, which called for universal health coverage especially to
protect the poor.
“A total of US$7 billion would be lost
between 2006 and 2015 (to national incomes) because of chronic
non-communicable diseases from just five … countries: Myanmar,
Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam,” said a team led by
Antonio Dans at the University of the Philippines’ College of Medicine.
Dans’s team, whose paper was the fourth in a six-paper series,
said the estimate of $7 billion in loses was conservative as it did not
include the costs of cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
a growing problem that affects the respiratory system.
the figure of 60 percent of deaths from chronic illnesses is lower than
Europe’s 86 percent and 78 percent in the United States, the health
infrastructure in Asia is frail and the region is much less prepared to
handle such illnesses which can be very expensive to treat.
the diseases share common behavioural risk factors, such as smoking,
excess weight, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, proper surveillance
was urgently needed so that intervention may be designed to mitigate
the epidemic, they wrote.
In the second paper, researchers highlighted uneven progress in reducing maternal and child deaths in the region.
less than 10 children under 5 died for every 1,000 live births in
Brunei, Singapore and Malaysia, the rate in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar
was between 50 and 70, among the highest in Asia.
exist in antenatal care coverage, use of skilled birth attendants, and
diphtheria, polio, tetanus and measles vaccination together with use of
oral rehydration therapy (for diarrhea), which are all key to the
development of a continuum of care,” said a team led by Cecilia Acuin
of the Institute of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of the
In the third paper, researchers warned that the
region was a hot spot for emerging infectious diseases — such as SARS
and the H5N1 bird flu virus — because of population growth and
movement, urbanisation, changes in food production and other factors.
has been substantial investment in surveillance capacity in recent
years, but it remains weak in many areas,” wrote the team led by
Richard Coker of the Communicable Diseases Policy Research Group at
Mahidol University in Thailand.
In the fifth paper, researchers
said five countries — Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam
— had insufficient healthcare workers, falling below the minimum
requirement set by the World Health Organisation at 2.28 doctors,
nurses and midwives per 1,000 people.
“To meet the WHO
threshold in these five countries, an estimated 884,868 health
professionals would be needed, representing a shortfall of around
232,417 relative to the current workforce,” wrote a team led by
Churnrurtai Kanchanachitra from Mahidol University.
The region
has different levels of health care from countries such as Laos and
Cambodia, which depend on donor funding, to countries such as Malaysia
and the Philippines where tax-funded health coverage is relatively
(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Robert Birsel)
Categories: Health Care, World News

NBC News examines drug-resistant malaria along Thai-Cambodian border

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Testing for malaria in a village near Pailin, Cambodia. Ian Williams / NBC News
NBC News’ “World Blog” reports on the emergence of drug-resistant malaria along the border
between Thailand and Cambodia. “The Pailin area [in Cambodia] is now
the epicenter of a fight to contain a growing resistance to
Artemisinin, which is the world’s main anti-malarial drug,” the blog
writes before noting the global health community’s efforts to contain
the spread of drug-resistant malaria.
why this border? Why has resistance always started here?” the blog
asks. “Experts speculate that conflict, poverty and a lot of migrants
moving across the border have all played a part. Resistance also
spreads when people don’t take drugs properly, and counterfeit and
sub-standard drugs are also to blame. They have been rife in the border
areas,” according to the blog.
The following experts are quoted
in the piece: Najibullah Habib, head of the WHO’s effort to prevent the
spread of drug-resistant malaria;
Christopher Raymond, an expert in counterfeit drugs, whose project is
backed by U.S. Pharmacopeia and USAID; and David Saunders and Stuart
Tyner of the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences. The
blog post includes two video clips (Williams, 1/22).
Categories: Health Care, Local News