I have this photo taken from the 2007 (or 2008?) during Cambodia’s Independence Day celebration. To those who are not familiar with Cambodia’s history, the country was once a French protectorate for 90years (beginning in 1863) before it gained it’s independence on November 9, 1953.
Every year, colourful celebrations are held , beginning at the lighting the torch at the Vimean Eikareach (Independence Monument) in Norodom Boulevard by His Majesty the Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and culminating in a huge parade. I particularly enjoy the miles-long parade showcasing floats of the different government ministries, agencies as well as international and local non-government organisations and business establishments in the country.
The photo below was part of the Cambodian Ministry of Health’s contingent.
The poster is promoting condoms for safe sex, a protection against HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases.
In 1997, Cambodia had the highest prevalence rate of HIV infection in the region at 3.7 percent. Due to the aggressive 100 percent condom use and education campaigns led by the Cambodian government and supported by various international organisations, the recent prevalence rate is now down to 1.9 percent. National and international agencies hailed Cambodia as one of the few countries who have successfully controlled the HIV epidemic among its general population.
However, despite keeping the HIV prevalence rate at bay, there is still a lot of work to be done.