Friday, October 30, 2009

Cambodia to warn people against A/H1N1, HIV/AIDS at water festival

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian authorities have prepared two messages on prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS and A/H1N1 virus at the upcoming water festival, government and international organization officials said Friday.

Sok Touch, director of the communicable disease control department of Ministry of Health said his ministry has prepared some 500,000 leaflets to be distributed during the three-day festival.

He said the leaflets recommend the attendees to the event to be well aware of the disease by which it encourages people to avoid the flu by "covering up cough and wash hands among others."

Also, Dan Bora, communication officer of Population Service International (PSI) said about 1,000 volunteers coordinated by PSIand in cooperation with national AIDS authority will hand out 250,000 condoms during the three-day event.

He said brothels will be the main target for distributions of the condoms.

Cambodia is known as a successful country in curbing with the spread of HIV/AIDS through a campaign of "100 percent condom use."

Chea Sokhom, secretary general of the National and International Festival Committee, said Thursday that 391 boats with more than 25,000 racers have been registered to take part in the water festival which is scheduled to begin from Nov. 1 through 3.

Cambodia's boat races or water festival is a three-day event crediting Cambodia's strong armed forces in defeating enemies by using boats.

King Norodom Sihamoni is expected to preside over the races, and will be accompanied by the government leaders, including Prime Minister Hun Sen and members of the foreign diplomatic corps.

Every year, millions of Cambodians are coming from across the country and are flocking to Phnom Penh to view and enjoy the boat races.

The 1,700-meter race is held on the Mekong River in the capital in front of the Royal Palace.

Editor: Deng Shasha

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