Two Years in the Kingdom- Health Crisis in Cambodia

May 27, 2019

Hello All, and thanks for following me. Todays topic is Health Crisis in Cambodia

Today Cambodia is in the midst of a health crisis. Diabetes and hypertension are running rampant. It has been reported that people dying of kidney disease, a complication of diabetes, is quickly reaching epidemic levels. Worsening the situation is the fact that there are only five dialysis centers in the entire country and the cost is out of reach for the average Cambodian. It seems that there is little awareness among the population as to the cause of diabetes and prevention. I seem to recall reading that the Ministry of Health is working with the World Health Organization and United Nations to address the crisis but, to my knowledge, information on the management and prevention has not filtered down to the Health Center level. Unless there is the blood test, a person cannot know if their blood sugar is in the danger zone. This is why I purchased a glucose and cholesterol monitor for the Health Center.

Today I held a training for the staff on the assessment, management and prevention of diabetes and hypertension that involved me speaking entirely in Khmer. This was an exciting opportunity for me and gave me quite a sense of accomplishment. My goal will be to measure blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and pulse of 300 villagers and collect statistical data on the incidence within each age group. I produced this laminated consultation book written in both English and Khmer to educate those patients that have blood sugar in the danger zone. The issue is most likely multi-factorial but the bottom line is a healthy diet and lifestyle that includes exercise can reduce the incidence of these two silent killers. Education is the key. I’ve seen similar scenarios in other developing countries such as Haiti and Guyana that also raise sugar cane. It is inexpensive and easily accessible. In Haiti, it is common for people to chew sugar cane. Here is Cambodia, the juice from the sugar cane is squeezed out and people drink it straight without understanding the extraordinary amount of sugar they are consuming. I hope that my efforts make a difference but I may never know.

Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.

This is a short description of one of my books called Azaleas Beyond the Prison Walls. This is my favorite book filled with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.

It’s 1930 and Carson Jones is a prison guard at the notorious Eastern States Penitentiary in Philadelphia where some of America’s most violent inmates and gangsters are serving time. Amidst the desperation of the Depression and a crowd of hostile convicts, Carson finds solace in an azalea garden behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art and in helping an inmate he believes has been wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to death. Carson’s life begins to take a turn when he meets a beautiful young woman through a coworker. Her father is a judge and agrees to help him, but at a price. Carson is forced to choose between a life of meaning and purpose and leaving his friend at the mercy of a threatening warden who is becoming increasingly more unhinged. Though the life he has always dreamed of is finally within reach, is it worth it? In a novel chock-full of history and suspense, James Rizzo crafts a suspenseful narrative full of real-life history and page-turning intrigue.

This is the book trailer for my novel Azaleas Beyond the Prison Walls. Book sales are increasing so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those that have supported me by purchasing my books. Although I’m no longer with Smart Cat Publishing, all my books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Links are on this website. Hope you will take a moment to listen and enjoy.






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