|Basic Health Education
NKFC provides the services of a Health Extension Worker. This person regularly visits the villages and teaches the importance of hygiene and good health practices, such as boiling drinking water, proper sanitary habits and maintaining a clean home environment. In addition, the HEW works with the District authorities to ensure that all children and mothers receive recommended vaccinations against the most common diseases. A further important service provided by the HEW is education to inform villagers of the advantages of family planning – especially as infant mortality declines – and of the dangers of HIV/AIDS, which has a high incidence in Cambodia.
A relatively high incidence of goitre and even cretinism was observed in the NKFC programme area, due to a severe iodine deficiency in the soil. NKFC took the initiative to introduce iodized salt into the villages, a practice that has now been taken up by the authorities and should eliminate both goitre and cretinism in future generations.
Wood and charcoal provides heat for cooking in almost every village home. Few houses have a proper hearth and chimney. This results in the inefficient use of increasingly scarce fuel (Cambodia suffers from large-scale deforestation) as well as in damage to women’s eyes (cooking is usually undertaken by women) from repeated exposure to smoke. NKFC has introduced simple, inexpensive, improved cooking stoves on a trail basis. These have found appreciation and acceptance among the village women and will be distributed more widely. As with latrines, NKFC will apply an awareness and aptitude test before providing stoves.
Malaria remains a scourge in many parts of Cambodia, including the Banteay Sray region. The simplest and most effective prophylactic is to sleep under a mosquito net impregnated with an approved insecticide. NKFC has provided a mosquito net to each family that has requested one and ensures that each net is re-impregnated annually just before the onset of the rainy season.
Download Mosquito nets compaign report 2009 [Excel, 17.5kb]
As a direct result of the support programmes introduced by NKFC, there has been a recognized decline in mortality rates as well as in the incidence of diseases, particularly water-borne. Instilling new ideas and practices takes time and requires repeated follow-up so that beneficial habits are formed. NKFC has been working with some of the villagers for more than five years to ensure that this happens.
Download Monthly Health care monitoring 2009 [Excel, 155kb]
above and below: August 2001