Government officials, Kantha Bopha children’s hospitals and the public are reaching out to philanthropists, appealing for continued support for the Cambodia Kantha Bopha Foundation. Their backing is crucial to the continued free treatment of children and the ongoing reduction of child mortality in the country.

The appeal was made on August 1, which marked the fourth anniversary of the inauguration of the Kantha Bopha-Sihamoni Monineath Heart Surgery Centre at Kantha Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penh. The facility, opened in 2019, stands as a symbol of progress in Cambodian healthcare.

Since its inception, the centre has served as an emergency room of the highest order, dispensing free medical care without bias. To date, it has treated 2,826 children, completed 9,059 general surgeries and carried out 1,555 heart surgeries.

Hospital director Ky Santy highlighted the importance of the new building at the ceremony.

“This new building has a crucial role. Critically ill children need to be brought here as we provide round-the-clock medical attention, which aids in reducing child mortality. Without this advanced emergency department, rescuing severely ill children would be extremely challenging,” said Santy.

“Previously, we had a front-line emergency service but lacked the necessary equipment and technology”.

Santy also noted how the challenges of the past have been overcome. When children were gravely ill, parents struggled to manually assist with their breathing. Now, the modern technology of the new building, which is celebrating its fourth year, has brought paediatric care to a new level of excellence.

“The mortality rate for severe illnesses is between 14 and 15 per cent. In total, over the past four years, more than 2,000 children have been diagnosed with the most severe diseases. Regrettably, none of them were able to survive,” he explained.

“Thankfully, we have managed to significantly reduce this mortality rate.”

Chan Narith, an official at the Ministry of Economy and Finance which administers the foundation, expressed gratitude and hope for continued support.

“I hope that Kantha Bopha hospitals will keep running and that philanthropists will carry on with their contributions. I call on everyone to continue their support of Kantha Bopha hospitals to help the children of Cambodia,” he said.

The success of Kantha Bopha hospitals in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh is evident from the recent report for the first half of 2023.

The report showed that medical attention was provided to a total of 500,000 children, with around 90,000 seriously ill children receiving vital hospital care. The appeal to philanthropists ensures that this critical work continues, reflecting a united commitment to child health in Cambodia.