Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng called on the public to be mindful of safety and health in the periods before and after floods take place in a letter on July 15 that called on the public to be ready to respond to natural disasters.

The minister said that climate change had affected the regularity of Cambodia’s seasonal changes and caused frequent natural disasters such as heat waves, storms, floods and droughts – all of which caused damages and destruction to infrastructure, property and homes while causing serious injuries and the loss of lives.

“Ahead of floods, [the public] must follow news of the situation closely and be mindful of their emergency plans for shelter and food. It is advisable to construct fences around ponds or any body of deep water and to keep the environment clean by constructing toilets on higher ground,” he said.

He also urged people to avoid sheltering in old houses that could collapse and to be mindful of power lines or other power sources that could electrocute them and that all boats and motorboats should be equipped with lights.

“Everyone must rest under mosquito nets to avoid catching dengue, malaria and chikungunya, among others. Pregnant women must follow up during their pregnancy at health centres and hospitals and when they are getting close to their time of delivery they must move closer to a health centre or hospital,” he said.

In the wake of flooding, the minister said everyone must continue to eat well-cooked food, drink clean water and maintain good hygiene to avoid disease.

Also, the environment around their house must be cleaned, especially making sure to destroy places with standing water that enable the breeding of Aedes aegypti and other mosquitoes.

He also instructed sub-national authorities to be ready in response to the emergencies that come in the rainy season and start preparing medicines, medical equipment, serums against snake bites and mobile medical teams to treat people in a timely manner.