Interview: China-backed neonatal care project saves children, increases capacity: Cambodia hospital chief

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PHNOM PENH, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The China-backed neonatal care project had not only helped reduce child mortality, but also strengthened the capacity for medical staff in Cambodia, Nhip Angkeabos, director of the state-run National Pediatric Hospital of Cambodia (NPH), told Xinhua in an interview.

The NPH and China's Hunan Children's Hospital signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) relating to neonatal care in December 2016 and the pact came to an end in December last year.

Speaking at his office in Phnom Penh on Friday, Angkeabos said the project under the MoU had provided a lot of benefits to both Cambodian children and pediatricians.

"The China-supported project, together with projects sponsored by other development partners, had enabled the hospital to save the lives of about 2,000 children a year," he said.

Through the project, China had donated 13 types of medical equipment as well as medicines to the NPH, he said, adding that about 20 NPH doctors and nurses had been sent to the Hunan Children's Hospital for professional training for Newborn Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

The director added that the training was focused on pediatric medicine, pediatric surgery, neonatal treatment, critical care and emergency medicine, imaging medicine, laboratory techniques, pediatric nursing techniques and hospital management.

"The project had not only helped modernize our hospital, but also given us bigger possibility to save children," he said. "It had also contributed to improving knowledge and technical skills for our doctors and nurses."

After returning to Cambodia, those trained medical staff have shared their knowledge and skills with other pediatricians from various hospitals throughout the country, he added.

Angkeabos said the cooperation between the two hospitals had also helped enhance the comprehensive ability of the NPH in hospital management, clinical diagnosis and treatment, quality care, and department construction.

The director said both hospitals have planned to renew the MoU for another three years, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plan has been postponed.

Meanwhile, Angkeabos said the NPH wants China to expand its assistance to the hospital by focusing on treating children with cerebral palsy or autism, eye diseases, and cancers.

"If possible, we want China to support us in both techniques and medical equipment as well as funds, so we can save children with these diseases," he said. Enditem

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