Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Patient records lost in fire in commune hit with HIV outbreak

Patient records lost in fire in commune hit with HIV outbreak

Authorities collect evidence at a Battambang province medical centre after a large number of HIV cases were uncovered in Roka commune in 2014.
Authorities collect evidence at a Battambang province medical centre after a large number of HIV cases were uncovered in Roka commune in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Patient records lost in fire in commune hit with HIV outbreak

Records for one out of every three HIV patients were lost this month when a fire destroyed computers at Battambang province’s Roka Referral Hospital, which is located in an area hit by one of Cambodia’s worst HIV outbreaks in recent memory.

Eng Samnang, director of the Roka Referral Hospital, said that on January 7, one building at the hospital housing equipment and vaccinations was destroyed by a fire caused by an electric malfunction. Samnang said no HIV medication was lost during the fire, but some patients’ records were lost when the computers were consumed.

The records consist of the patients’ identities, home addresses, medication, medical history and patient progress. According to Samnang there are currently 266 patients in Roka commune.

“We thought it was going to be difficult, but now we informed the people, so when they come, we can start [taking their details] again,” he said.

Roka Referral Hospital in Battambang province goes up in flames. Facebook
Roka Referral Hospital in Battambang province goes up in flames. Facebook

A HIV outbreak swept through Roka commune in 2014 when unlicensed doctor Yem Chroeum spread the virus to nearly 300 villagers by using tainted needles. Chroeum was sentenced to 25 years in prison in December 2015.

A day after the fire, the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STDs sent officials down to the hospital to provide support, Samnang said. The centre provided support in helping retrieve some information from the computers.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio