Food Distribution By Local Volunteers Hospitalizes School Children in Cambodia

It was another school day for the children in Cambodia. The children were visited by a local group of volunteers and were offered food. What happens next is that children fall sick and due to constant diarrhea and vomiting are rushed to the hospital.

More than 80 school children have been hospitalized after falling ill with food poisoning. Officials at Cambodia say the children fell ill after a local volunteer group distributed contaminated food which comprised of fried rice, sausage and milk. These children belonged to a primary school in the southern province of Takeo.

The incident took place in the Tram Kak district. Its governor, Chea Vann reported the police that all the victims had the same symptoms which was vomiting and diarrhea. As informed by Vann, the children were quickly sent to hospitals for check-up and were later in stable condition. These kinds of food poisoning incidents take place commonly in Cambodia because of lack of checking on foods and no safety regulations lax.

It was quoted by Xinhua news agency that the deputy police chief of Tram Kak, Sok Sochea reported that the children became ill after 4 hours of consuming the contaminated food. He also added,

“They all have the same symptoms; diarrhea and vomiting.”

He also added that the provincial food safety bureau has been sent samples of fried rice to examine it. The results are yet to be out but it will be helpful for the food authority to realize what went wrong in the food.

The volunteers who belonged to a school in Phnom Penh were kind enough to visit the children at the hospital and also donated cash money. The children belonging to Wat Tatai primary school were then in a stable condition.

Food poisoning incidents take place quite commonly in Cambodia because of something or the other going bad in the food. In 2015, 37 Buddhists fell sick in south eastern Kampong Cham province after they ate tainted food. This led the health ministry to circulate notice to the public for being cautious about food hygiene so they can avoid falling ill. Another mass food poisoning took place after Pursat election event in which around 200 cases of suspected food poisoning were reported. A total of 213 people were admitted to the hospital out of which most were children.

In March 2015, an event on child labour took place in Phnom Penh where a total number of 700 people were attending this event. Most of them were children. The free snack that was provided by the NGO left majority of the attendees sick. Out of the 700, 542 of them has gotten sick, 364 were reported to be children.

This kind of incidents taking place constantly isn’t a healthy sign for a nation. We are hoping that in the coming years there can be an improvement in the food and safety regulations and thus a decrease in mass food poisoning breakouts.