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In Long Beach, a Health Fair in Khmer

  • Cheang Sophinarath
  • VOA Khmer

The health fair, held at the local St. Mary Medical Center in Longbeach, California.

The health fair, held at the local St. Mary Medical Center in Longbeach, California.

The Khmer Parents Association in Long Beach, Calif., organized its 7th annual health fair for Cambodian-Americans over the weekend, providing health workshops, vaccinations and tips for better living.

“Cambodian-Americans are facing complex health issues resulting from the Khmer Rouge regime, which badly tortured us, and we never had or didn’t know how or where to find the doctors,” said Chan Hopson, executive director of the association. “Most of us don’t seek doctors if we have even minor illnesses and wait until it gets serious. And many Cambodian-Americans die at a very young age.”

The health fair, held at the local St. Mary Medical Center, provided free health screenings, flu and whooping cough vaccinations and discussions on heart disease, Hepatitis B, nutrition, exercise and dental care, provided by professional doctors in the Khmer language.

The fair was put on with help from St. Mary, the Californian Endowment, the American Cancer Society and other local organizations.

Long Beach resident Sron Vy said healthcare was a major issue for Cambodian-Americans.

“Many of us here live below the poverty line, so we don’t know how to live and eat healthily,” she said. “When we are unhealthy, everything else is unhealthy. If I am sick, my children will be sick as well. To be healthy is to be happy.”

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