ASEAN Dengue Day – A Story of One of Our Students

Pan Porp* is 11 years old and he started studying with ISF in 2014 in Grade 2. He is now in Grade 5 and preparing to go to State School next year!

Porp lives with his father, younger brother and aunt and uncle in a small room in the Stung Meanchey community. His father sells food at the market, while his uncle is a moto mechanic and his aunt works in a garment factory. Porp’s little brother is also an ISF student. They are sadly separated from their mother for most of the year; she still lives in the provinces, to take care of Porp’s grandfather who is struggling with mental health issues.

Last December, Porp suddenly fell ill “I couldn’t eat well, I got a fever, but I felt cold and I was not well at all.” It happened during the weekend and his parents were very worried. Early Monday morning they immediately took him to ISF’s nurses for help. They suspected he had dengue and got his parents in tough with the Children’s Hospital in Phnom Penh.

ISF’s nurses turned out to be right: the doctor at the hospital diagnosed Porp with dengue and admitted him into hospital for 3 days. His mother was by his side the whole time, Porp said: “I am lucky that I was there on time, otherwise I would be in trouble”. After another day at home, Prop was sufficiently recovered to return to school at ISF.

Like many of our students, Prop lives in a community with very bad drainage. Puddles and slush are everywhere and provide a perfect breeding ground for dengue mosquitos. Porp said, “Not only is the environment around my home quite bad, but because the room is so small we can’t get away from mosquitos”.

Luckily, with the help of ISF’s nurses and the local hospital, Porp managed to get better and is back at his studying. Smiling he said “I’m happy to go back to school and study maths, when I grot up I want to be a maths teacher.”


*Names of students under 18 have been changed.