Group completes 58 free surgeries in five days

Parents bring their children to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital for eye exams. - PPP

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/Asia News Network): Over a five day period from Jan 21 to 25, a team of surgeons from the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital – working in collaboration with general surgeons from the US – examined 86 patients and operated on 58 patients with ailments such as intestinal diseases, hemorrhoids, anal fistulas, tumours and others.

Dr Mok Theavy, deputy director of Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, said on January 26 that the hospital in collaboration with US NGO organisation Surgeons for Cambodia provided consultation and treatment for serious diseases for people by using laparoscopic examinations and providing treatment for the diseases they were able to.

Theavy said that the consultations and surgeries were free for the poor and were held from Jan 21-25. A total of 86 patients were examined and 58 patients were operated on.

He noted that some of the patients didn’t require surgery to correct their conditions, which were at a stage suitable for intervention with medicine or changes in behaviour or lifestyle.

“Some patient who are already done with surgery have returned home. The ones remaining are those who need further treatment for about two-three more days to be recovered and discharged home.

“Laparoscopy allows to work very fast and some patients that we conducted the operations on for their gallbladders required only one day of hospitalization and then the patient was able to discharge to their house,” he said.

He added that the US medical teams from the Surgeons for Cambodia had provided surgical equipment, beds and paediatric surgical equipment along with other materials and this year they also donated four laparoscopic machines to the hospital.

Theavy said that the cooperation was also a way to share experiences with each other and promote the development of Cambodia’s medical sector to bring it up to international standards.

“I believe that currently if we just consider medical knowledge, our medical team’s abilities are not less than any foreigners. But we all work in different settings and have different experiences so it’s good that foreign doctors are interested in cooperating with us and exchanging views.

“Now our government must seriously consider finally equipping the hospitals here with the technology that we lack in order to be at the same level as other Asean countries,” he said.

Elliott Brender, founder of Surgeons for Cambodia, said this was the 11th mission to the Kingdom by the group since 2008 where the doctors from the US provided various free medical treatments to Cambodians in need.

He said that for this 11th mission, his medical team provided consultations in the capital at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital and in Siem Reap, Battambang and Preah Sihanouk provinces.

Beyond providing important medical care to those in need, their mission is also to share experiences on health care and assist with training Cambodian doctors to be specialized in laparoscopic surgery, intestinal surgery, haemorrhoid treatment, anal fistula treatment, removal of tumours and hand and face rehabilitation surgeries.

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