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Mental illnesses prevalent among Thai-Cambodian border residents after clashes

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BANGKOK, 15 February 2011 (NNT) – The Ministry of Public Health has found several Thai-Cambodian border residents suffering from mental illnesses following the recent border clashes and has tasked village health volunteers to take care of them.

Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit reported that 72 mobile medical units had been dispatched to Thai-Cambodian border provinces of Si Sa Ket, Ubon Ratchathani and Surin to examine the locals’ well-being after a series of artillery exchanges broke out between soldiers of both sides earlier this month. Based on the checkup of 10,000 residents, 36 percent had physical illnesses, such as cold and fatigue, and were given treatments.

Mental health tests were also given to 4,813 individuals and discovered that nearly 2,000 of them were undergoing stress. Of the group, 638 cases or 32.48 percent had a fairly high level of depression and another 73 cases or 11.4 percent were extremely high. Ten patients also had a tendency to commit suicide.

NNT


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