Taiwan NGOs are improving public health and well-being and strengthening people-to-people ties with Cambodia.

2021/03/09
合作國家
Cambodia

Taiwan NGOs are improving public health and well-being and strengthening people-to-people ties with Cambodia.

Cambodian surgeon Dr. Long Vanna still remembers the buzz of excitement at the National Pediatric Hospital (NPH) in Phnom Penh during the summer of 1999 as he and fellow physicians prepared to welcome the first delegation from Taipei City-based Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation (NCF). The visit was to discuss a mooted partnership under which the Taiwan nonprofit would share its expertise in treating conditions such as cleft lip and palate. Long, then 41, recognized the potential of this tie-up in boosting children’s health and well-being in Cambodia. Looking back on what has been achieved in the decades since, he said the results have, if anything, exceeded his expectations.

Under the collaborative arrangement, formally launched one year later, NCF doctors perform surgeries at the hospital and NPH physicians undertake advanced training in Taiwan. Long was among those selected for the overseas fellowship, spending 2002 studying cutting-edge care practices at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. “Before the foundation came to Cambodia, children with craniofacial conditions went untreated for their whole lives,” he said. “Thanks to this partnership, I’ve acquired the skills to help, and become one of the top surgeons in this medical field in my country.”

A Cambodian father and son express gratitude to Taipei City-based Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation after the boy received treatment from NCF personnel at the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh in December 2017.

A total of 16 Cambodian medical professionals, including four surgeons, five dentists, three anesthesiologists and two speech therapists, have received instruction in Taiwan under the NCF partnership. They also act as seed trainers on returning home, with Long having passed on his knowledge to three junior doctors.According to NCF, its doctors have treated 648 patients in Cambodia. Local physicians who have undergone training thanks to the foundation have helped many more. Long has independently handled more than 1,300 cases, in addition to assisting NCF personnel with complex procedures during their regular visits.

Inspired by the Taiwan foundation’s outreach work, in 2008 NPH started seeking out patients with craniofacial conditions in remote parts of the country, establishing a clinic in one province each year to conduct consultations and surgeries. “Sometimes on these trips, we encounter patients who got inadequate treatment,” Long said. “It fills you with great pride and joy to be able to offer them top-class care.”

For more to read, please check on Taiwan Today.

Great thanks to MOFA's report. 

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