Chinese-educated Cambodian doctors, students help vaccinate people against Covid-19

PHNOM PENH, April 24 (Xinhua): Choeng Senglim, a Cambodian medical student at a university in China, said she is thrilled to be able to help inoculate people in Cambodia against Covid-19 as the kingdom has seen a spike in new cases.

The South-East Asian nation registered 511 new cases on Saturday, pushing the national total to 9,359, with 71 deaths, the Ministry of Health said, adding that there are currently 6,072 active cases in the country.

Senglim, the first-year student at the Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong province, has joined other Chinese-educated doctors and medical students in vaccinating people at an inoculation site in Porsenchey district of the capital Phnom Penh.

The 28-year-old student said she and other medical professionals volunteered to administer the COVID-19 vaccines following calls from the ad-hoc committee for Covid-19 vaccination and that the volunteers had been well trained by veteran doctors before being deployed to the inoculation sites.

"I'm proud to work with other medical professionals during this vaccination drive because I want to help protect our people against this highly contagious disease," she told Xinhua.

Senglim said she has no hesitation in volunteering for this humanitarian task, saying that medical students are future healthcare providers and must be courageous.

"When I chose this profession, I already knew that I would face such a situation or a similar situation one day, so I'm ready to challenge it, and if we don't do our job, who will do it on our behalf?" she said. "This is my first experience, and I will never forget it."

Cambodia launched a Covid-19 vaccination drive on Feb 10. So far, around 1.3 million people in the priority groups had been vaccinated against the virus, showed a government report.

Sroy Sopheaktra, a fresh graduate with a bachelor's degree in clinical medicine from the Guilin Medical University in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said the vaccination drive gave him an opportunity to serve people and help the country fight against the disease.

"We know that our job is at high risks of infections, but we're still keen to work on it because we want to protect our people and to win over Covid-19 as soon as possible," he told Xinhua.

"As doctors, our obligations and duties are to save people and we cannot hide ourselves at home when people are in need of medical help," the 25-year-old doctor said.

Sopheaktra said that the demand for vaccines is high in Cambodia because the pandemic shows no signs of abating yet.

The Association of Cambodian Students in China (ACSC) has mobilized 51 Chinese-educated Cambodian doctors and medical students to take part in the inoculation drive, said ACSC's founder and honorary president Um Vuty.

"Currently, 26 have already been sent to inoculation sites in Phnom Penh, as the rest of them are being deployed to inoculation sites in various provinces," he told Xinhua.

"Vaccine is like a bulletproof vest that can protect our lives, so we hope that our doctors' participation will contribute to protecting our people's lives and to rebuilding our economy," he said.

Ministry of Health Secretary of State Or Vandine, chairwoman of the ad-hoc committee for Covid-19 vaccination, said earlier this month that the kingdom has arranged about 250 inoculation sites nationwide, requiring roughly 2,200 doctors and health workers. - Xinhua
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