Kantha Bopha Children's Hospitals: Sustainable even in the pandemic

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

Cambodia is still one of the poorest countries in the world. At least one third of the 16.7 million inhabitants live in extreme poverty and have to live with less than 2 USD per day. The economic crisis triggered by the pandemic is expected to increase this figure by around 10%. In Cambodia and Southeast Asia, the delta variant is spreading rapidly due to the lack of vaccine.

It is therefore even more important that the Kantha Bopha hospitals continue to provide free medical care for all children, because 80% of the sick children are treated there. The hospitals under the leadership of our management team and the 2500 Cambodian employees are functioning medically and organizationally independently and sustainably. This is a great achievement under difficult conditions. Because the last mission from Switzerland took place in February 2020. Since then, medical support by specialists from the Children's Hospital Zurich and other hospitals can only be provided virtually.

The pandemic also poses great challenges for the Kantha Bopha hospitals. With the support of our Vice President Prof. Michael Grotzer and the infectiologist Prof. Christoph Berger, the Covid protocol for Kantha Bopha was created, and was approved by the Ministry of Health as a model for Cambodia. We greatly appreciate that the Cambodian government provided us with a separate 200-bed building in Phnom Penh as a Covid Center, which is operated by a special Covid team from Kantha Bopha. This provides better protection from infection for normal hospital operations and our staff. According to the principles of the founder Beat Richner, MD, who passed away in 2018, no child is alone in the hospital. Day and night

(usually) the mother stay with her child. That is, in a normal room with 30 beds, there are about 70 people (children and their mothers plus doctors and nurses) at all times, so strict hygiene and testing are eminent.

Tourism in Cambodia has plummeted since the record year of 2019. In 2020 and 2021, the Foundation will therefore lose around USD 6 million every year from the ticket revenue of Angkor Wat (the Foundation receives USD 2 per visitor to the world-famous temples).

Please continue to support the sustainable life's work of Beat Richner, MD. Every franc helps to heal, save and prevent.

Zurich/Phnom Penh, August 2021

Dr. iur. René Schwarzenbach, President,

Prof. Dr. med. Michael Grotzer, Vicepresident

Stiftung Kinderspital Kantha Bopha, Dr. med. Beat Richner,

PC 80-60699.1, IBAN Nr. CH98 0900 00008006 0699 1

(Photos below from Kantha Bopha in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap)