A Cambodian unlicensed doctor’s murder rap is tied to allegations that Yem Chrin practiced without a license, and allegedly negligently infected more than 100 villagers with the human immunodeficiency virus. Chrin has been taken into custody and the investigation continues.
The unlicensed doctor’s murder rap comes after Yem Chrin is said to have intentionally spread the HIV virus throughout the Roka village in northwestern Cambodia. According to KWQC, health officials have found that 106 people out of 800 tested in the village now have the virus.
Chrin was arrested over the weekend, and he reportedly has acknowledged reusing syringes for patient treatment. This is a practice that can easily spread HIV, and after multiple cases in the area were detected, authorities narrowed their search to Chrin’s practice. He has told officials that he did not intend to spread HIV, and he doesn’t know which of his patients had been already infected as he reused the syringes.
The unlicensed medical practitioner claims that he frequently changed the needles he used, but it seems clear he did not follow standard protocol in this area. Infected villagers include Buddhist monks and the patients range in age from 3 to 82 years of age. Yahoo! News reports that the doctor’s murder rap now has brought forth charges of murder carried out with cruelty, intentionally spreading HIV and practicing medicine without a license.
Chrin, 53, is said to have been popular in his community because of his kind care. While he had no formal certification or training, he had been providing health care in the area for many years. As Al Jazeera notes, the Battambang province village affected is a rural farming community of about 9,000 people and the unusual number of cases detected quickly garnered worldwide attention.
Prior to the extensive results being released, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen said he thought that unreliable testing was to blame for the high numbers. However, the cases have since been confirmed, and United Nations workers are now collaborating with authorities to ensure that those affected have access to treatment and support services.
At this time it is unknown what penalty Yem Chrin could face with these charges. Cambodia has no death penalty. The first cases were detected earlier this month, and it seems the number could continue to rise. A number of the affected patients are young children, and Chrin is being held in protective custody due to threats against him. The investigation supporting the unlicensed doctor’s medical rap continues.
[Image via Australia Plus]