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More than 600,000 children treated at Kantha Bopha hospitals in 2020

Press review from Cambodia.

Khmer Times, January 4, 2021

More than half a million children sought treatment for various ailments at the five Kantha Bopha hospitals last year.

Of the more than 639,000 treated, 133,000 were hospitalised with 4,488 suffering from dengue fever and 14,112 infants for emergency care in the newborn intensive care unit.

Foundation of Children’s Hospitals Kantha Bopha Dr med. Beat Richner in its report said the mortality rate among children who were hospitalised dropped by 0.25 percent last year.

The foundation general director Dr Denis Laurent told Khmer Times yesterday that their hospitals recorded less hospitalisation and outpatient treatments last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In 2019, we had an additional 25,000 children warded due to a dengue epidemic,” he said. The Kantha Bopha hospitals take care of about 85 percent of all the sick children in Cambodia. All the treatments are free of charge.

Due to the COVID-19, Dr Laurent said they received fewer donations last year due to the drastic decline in tourist arrivals at Angkor as $2 from every sale at Angkor Archaeological Park is for the hospitals.

“My fervent wish for this year is to receive financial support from Switzerland and Cambodia to run the six hospitals in memory of the late Dr Beat Richner and to continue providing free treatment with excellent medical quality to children,” he added.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the Kantha Bopha Foundation opened two new intensive care units for pediatric and newborns in Siem Reap and they managed to perform more than 1,000 open heart surgeries in the hospital and in Phnom Penh.

“All our successes, be it our day to day operations, programmes and activities, I attribute them to our dedicated and committed 2,500 Cambodian staff, the Foundation in Switzerland and the Cambodia Kantha Bopha Foundation under the initiative of Prime Minister Hun Sen and Minister of Finance Aun Pornmoniroth,” he said.

There are 444 doctorate students and 346 nursing associates students undergoing hands-on training at the hospitals.

Meanwhile, Hun Suntheary, 57, yesterday said she was grateful to Kantha Bopha hospital as it is because of their well-trained and qualified medical and allied teams that her grandchildren are cured of their ailments and leading a normal and quality life.

Suntheary said her family members also have started donating what they can to the hospital via donation boxes which are placed strategically at pagodas, markets, and public places.

The hospitals which treat over 2,000 children a day have performed surgeries on 24,822 children including 1,046 open-heart operations and 777 neurosurgeries last year.

The hospitals also vaccinated 49,586 besides providing general gynaecology services to 132,443 pregnant women and delivering 25,771 babies.

© Khann Chanvirak / Khmer Times

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