Alarming news from Cambodia: "It's a matter of life or death," government leader Hun Sen warned the population about the spread of the pandemic. "Just a month ago, everything seemed under control. As of the end of March, the Kingdom had only a few Covid-19 cases (...) In the meantime, every eight inhabitant has been vaccinated. But Covid-19 infections have risen sharply in the last fortnight." So reported Manfred Rist in the NZZ on Tuesday May 4th.
What does this mean for Dr Beat Richner's children's hospitals? The hard lockdown and the travel restrictions between the provinces reduced the number of new patients entering Phnom Penh and Siem Reap by 70 percent. However, all intensive care units are fully occupied, 650 new patients enter the hospitals every day (under normal conditions, there are up to 2500), there are 50 births and 40 operations every day.
The hospital managers have taken the necessary measures for testing and isolating any covid-infected patients in good time. The entire staff is tested on an ongoing basis, and today 96 percent of the staff have been vaccinated. So far, only 3 nurses, 2 infants and 3 mothers have tested positive, been quarantined and discharged cured. The efficient Covid protocol for Kantha Bopha Hospitals was introduced in close cooperation with the Zurich Children's Hospital and the Professor of Infectiology, Dr. med. Christoph Berger.
Impressed by the exemplary organisation, the Ministry of Health has asked the hospital management of Kantha Bopha, to use their doctors in other institutions as well. However, this contradicts Dr. Beat Richner's rule that no one is deployed outside the structures of Kantha Bopha Hospitals. We are happy to help, but only in our hospitals", answers Chief Physician Professor Ky Santy, MD.
In the hospitals, despite the additional effort and difficult conditions (masks and protective suits in the tropical heat!), operations are running smoothly: General Director Dr. biol. Denis Laurent reports that under going projects are well underway. Two new operating theatres in the Maternity Unit are in operation, the digitisation of patient data will be completed in a few months, the new MRI will be functioning from July.
The Foundation's Board hopes that the planned missions to Cambodia by the paediatricians of the Zurich Children's Hospital can be resumed soon.
All this and the continued free treatment of all Cambodian children is only possible thanks to the support of generous donors from Switzerland. We thank you very much for your help..
Every franc helps to heal, save and prevent.
Dr. iur. René Schwarzenbach, President,
Prof. Dr. med. Michael Grotzer, Vice President
Kantha Bopha Children's Hospital Foundation, Beat Richner, MD,
PC 80-60699.1, IBAN No. CH98 0900 00008006 0699 1
Zurich/Phnom Penh, May 202