200 Villagers contract HIV after unlicensed doctor reuses syringes in Cambodia

Medic Yem Chrin has been arrested after 200 people were diagnosed with HIV in the remote Cambodian village of Roka (pictured, Em Mom, one of those infected with HIV, prepares to take her medication)

My heart bleeds when i read the news on Mail Online. This shows that, the heart of Man is desperately wicked….Read below

Two hundred people including 12 children have been diagnosed with HIV after being treated by an unlicenced doctor in Cambodia.

Medic Yem Chrin, who made house calls for nearly two decades in the remote rice farming village of Roka, has been arrested after police say he admitted to reusing needles and syringes.

Among the infected are 16 members of the same extended family, along with the 82-year-old abbot of a nearby Buddhist monastery.Medic Yem Chrin.

Mr. Chrin, who trained as a nurse treating people at a refugee camp after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime which killed nearly two million people, is currently being held in nearby Battambang.

He has been charged with aggravated murder, intentionally spreading HIV, and is accused of practicing without a licence.

The tragedy in Roka, a remote village which is three miles from the nearest paved road, first came to light in August last year when a pregnant woman showed positive for HIV during a routine test.

Medics were unable to explain the infection, but after another expectant mother also tested positive a few weeks later, medical centres were inundated with villagers asking to be screened.
At the time the country’s Prime Minister refused to accept the results as genuine, saying he was ‘100 per cent’ sure it was not HIV.

But he was to be proved tragically wrong. More positive results flooded in and the centres were filled with weeping and hugging each other, reports the New York Times.

Grandmother Chem Mao, 55, even considered committing suicide after her diagnosis, but as she arrived home the sight of her grandchildren playing beside her cinder-block house stopped her.
Despite the horrific infection sweeping through the village, many locals have staunchly defended Chrin, describing him as a philanthropic man willing to step in during times of need.

Chhay Yao, 76, the head of the family in which 16 people were infected, said: ‘Honestly I don’t think the doctor caused this.

‘He was so clean. And he’s not a bad person. If we had money we gave it to him. If not he would always say, pay me later.’

According to Chrin’s daughter, Chrin Reaksa, he moved to the region after his time in refugee camps, and the villagers began coming to him for help.

After a while, he established a practice to deal with the number of requests. Locals said he was always willing to help, offering free treatment if they couldn’t pay.

Ms Reaska said that, before the infection, officials never asked her father about a licence.

While the quality of healthcare in rural Cambodia has been described as ‘poor’ by the World Health Organisation, it has also been praised for its efforts in reducing the spread of HIV and Aids.

Rates of infection in the far eastern country are a third lower than those in neighbouring Thailand, and cases of mass infection such as this are rare.

The government has a widespread programme of providing free antiretroviral drugs to those suffering from the life-limiting infection, and has stepped in to provide them in Roka.

Despite this, villagers have reported being treated like outcasts, shunned by those from surrounding towns, and forced to wash their hands with disinfectant whenever they visit public buildings.

In the past Cambodia’s government has been criticised for its treatment of those infected with HIV/Aids after it created a de-facto commune for families suffering from the illness.

In 2009 Amnesty International blasted the Cambodian government after it moved 20 infected families living in the Phnom Penh area into green shacks built in Tuol Sambo.

Villagers around Tuol Sambo were quoted as saying the settelment was built as a centre for those with the virus, and Amnesty warned that a lack of heating, sanitation and access to clean water would likely endanger the health of those sent there.

Around 50 families were still living in the metal huts in September last year, and were entirely dependent on one clinic for their medication, which is handed out free of charge once a week.

Read More: Mail Online

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