Fighting continues between supporters of the ousted Pol Pot government in Kampuchea (Cambodia) and Vietnamese-aided supporters of the new government.
Fighting continues between supporters of the ousted Pol Pot government in Kampuchea (Cambodia) and Vietnamese-aided supporters of the new government. Meanwhile, the new leaders have claimed in a recent interview that almost half of the Cambodian population (three million people) died during the three year rule of Pol Pot. The interview, published by the Finnish News Agency (S.T.T. - F.N.B.) was between Cambodia's new leader, Heng Samrin, and the Chairman of the International Organisation of Journalists, Professor, Kaarle Nordenstreng.
SYNOPSIS: In Cambodia, it is the young and the sick who are suffering most because of the war. At this hospital in Svay Rieng, near the Kampuchea-Vietnam border, proper care of patients has become almost impossible because of lack of medial supplies and a shortage of trained doctors.
Infant children are taken into this hospital suffering from malnutrition, and infectious diseases. The Director of the Hospital, Sok Son, says even the hospitalised children may still die because of malnutrition, although the Government leader, Heng Samrin, says food production, particularly rice, and essential water supplies are gradually being restored.
Heng Samrin, who heads the ruling People's Revolutionary Council, claimed in the interview that all professional people in Cambodia, including doctors, were liquidated during Pol Pot's rule.
In this hospital, which only re-opened three weeks ago, medical supplies are scarce. What medicines exist have been made at the hospital from herbs and plants...using traditional Kampuchean recipes.
But the strange mixture of herbalism and science is doing nothing to alleviate the shortage of bed-space. Straw-matting is the only comfort offered to these children...some of whom will never leave the hospital. Reuters reports that other young children in the country are attending school again for the first time in months.