Public Health

Rural Cambodia Public Health 6

The Cause

The notion of public health in communities truly becomes a unique issue once water access and safety has been ensured. Waterborne diseases make up for a significant portion of deaths in infancy and early childhood.

Access to poor water also claims lives in different ways, by contributing to complicating factors in pregnancy and neonatal care. As a result, a high rate of birth defects will typically prevail in communities where safe water is an issue.

The food chain, or availability of foods will also have a tremendous impact on a community’s health:

Poverty stricken rural communities that must farm large quantities of grain in order to generate sufficient income to survive will consume disproportionate sugars. This leads in diabetes & hypertension rates of 12-14% in rural Cambodia. In addition, an FAO study shows that the prevalent malnutrition in rural Cambodia causes over 40% of children to be stunted.

At home, within our communities, a similar dysfunction in the food chain comes to life under the form of “food deserts” where entire communities find it impossible to include healthy foods & produce because it simply unavailable. Ultimately, this situation leads to similar rates of diabetes & hyper tension as those found in rural Cambodia.

Our Work

In addition to diet-driven health issues, the communities of Southeast Asia suffer a plague that has been tormenting humanity four thousands of years.

The human cost of malaria is great, and can cripple a person’s economic earning power for a lifetime. In order to protect their families from the disease, the people of Sen Sok connected with changemakers based in the United States and Netherlands to create a community training center to build with the objective to train thirty villagers at sewing and manufacture mosquito nets for their entire community in the process.

Today, Community First is still engaged in malaria control with the help of the trainees who are now successful home-based entrepreneurs and tailors. To this day, many of the mosquito nets being donated around Siem Reap comes from their newly skilled hands.

In addition, Community First is creating a pilot program in collaboration with the Cambodian Diabetes Association to turn diabetes patients into successful aquaponic gardeners who are able to self-finance their treatment.


What you can do


$10 will funds mosquito net fabric to manufacture a single net which will protect an entire family

$750 will help a family start an aquaponic farm which will help them fund medical expenses and reclaim their health