Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dengue takes heavy toll

Ek Madra for Reuters has reported on the severe problem with dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, which has taken a heavy toll on Cambodia's young this year. More than 350 children have been killed this year by dengue - which causes fever, headaches and agonising muscle and joint pains - in what is believed to be one of the worst outbreaks in years. Read his story here.

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A documentary film that follows the fortunes of two people as they take on the world including a visit to Mondulkiri in Cambodia was shown on BBC2 in the UK last weekend. Here's a review of the programme and a link to find out more about Ride Aid.

Dedicated Daz's Marathon Effort
Frank & Daz Take On The World
A tale of friendship, the human spirit and overcoming hugely difficult odds - all laced with Aussie humour (some of it with a Scottish accent). What's it about? Let the man it's about explain." I am the only person in the world with my level of cerebral palsy to run marathons," says Daryl Howe. Daz, as he is affectionately known, was told he would never walk but, having confounded the experts, his aim is to run the big one - the New York marathon. Originally from Ayr, but now resident in Australia, Frank Surgener has his own marathon in mind - building a school in a Cambodia still suffering the after effects of the devastating and brutal Khmer Rouge regime.
The one-hour film, by Rymer Childs, follows the two friends from their training runs in Western Australia to the skyscraper loaded streets of New York. An agent in sporting goods Frank,who helps Daz train, is full of praise for his friend's prowess as an athlete but is also conscious of his condition.
"Every time he pushes that body to the limit, it is a venture into the unknown." From the 'mean streets', the film then follows the two friends to the dusty backroads of Cambodia and Frank's efforts to raise funds through his charity Ride Aid. Director Judy Rymer says: "They are, as Frank says, 'men with a mission'. They support each other, challenge each other, laugh a lot - and they like a beer. "Bringing together the extremely different worlds of New York and Mondulkiri, in Cambodia, through the lens of a powerful friendship has been a privilege which I hope we can share with our audience through this film." Daz adds:"Frank inspires me by what he does and I hope I inspire him."
To find out more about the invaluable work of Ride Aid, click here.
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Bobby Charlton, yes the Bobby Charlton paid a visit to Cambodia last month and this month, he's 70 years old. Happy birthday Sir Bobby. Read more about this amazing British footballer who now spends some of his time travelling the world as a roving sports ambassador here.

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