Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Health Minister Mam Bun Heng are both under international scrutiny after deciding to locate some 40 families to endure an isolated life in Tuol Sambo, approximately twenty-five kilometers away.
These folks are HIV/AIDS survivors.
What concerns the international community is the living conditions of the camp, that were deemed “life-threatening” and “crude, green metal sheds” that “lack running water and adequate sanitation.” by Human Right Watch activist.
Those with HIV and AIDS are particularly vulnerable to the health risks posed by such conditions, and according to Rebecca Schleifer of Human Rights Watch, “For them, these substandard conditions can mean a death sentence or a ticket to a hospital.”
Mann Chhoeun, Phnom Penh’s Deputy Governor spoke with the English-language Phnom Penh Post, stating that they are working on bringing clean water to the inhabitants of the village, as well as providing permanent medical assistance in the form of The Center of Hope, a mission from a local hospital that assists with the medical concerns of the poor. A representative of The Center of Hope, however, said it had no plans to open up a permanent facility in the area, but will continue their weekly mobile health services.
Approximately 67,200 adults and 3,800 children in Cambodia are infected with HIV or AIDS. Those relocated are comprised of taxi drivers, seamstresses, cleaners, and day laborers. Their experience is made all the more difficult by the lack of available jobs in such a remote city, as well as the increasing danger of insufficient medical help.
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