Sopheap Chak

Riding the wave of change in Cambodia

My Birthday Cause for Kantha Bopha Hospital

These few days, I have been back and forth to hospital to see my newly born niece who had health problem and she was advised for operation. It was a critical moment for our family to bear the pain of this little girl. Her operation has been completed and she is okay now although doctor requires following up her condition still.

I thought the moment our family is burden is that tough, but when you would expose to other child’s condition at the hospital especially the newly born up to one-month old baby who were placed at a large room together, while two babies may share the same bed altogether, the moment was even more trouble-some. You would hear different stories: a child was left out by her mum who has never now returned to take care of him, yet thank to hospital profession for continuing taking care of him and even hiring the baby-sitter to ensure his condition is watched out closely like other child who is accompanied by mother or both parents. Suddenly, you would hear other story: a mum was crying loudly while her kid was already gone given that his/her condition was serious and doctor could no longer assist him/her (I dared not even look at the scene but only hear the cry of the mother). You would see other scenario where the mother has to stay fully at hospital alone (while my sister would be accompanied by her husband and also an often visit by me) and could not even afford to a mobile phone and she would need to get out hospital to give a call by using paid call service to her husband (who maybe on job-mission of income generation). This are few examples where I have been exposed to amid other poor and venerable parents would have been relying to the effort of the hospital who hardly bear the cost of the service, building, and other associated cost to doctors etc.

Wait, I have not yet named out that hospital and I am sure this is not new to all of you: It is Kantha Bopha Hospital. This hospital offers a free of charge medical service to the families in Cambodia who are simply too poor to even make a small contribution for the service. According to the hospital source, without this hospital, 3,200 additional children would die in Cambodia every month. The figure is quite shocking amid the fact that the hospital sometime and recently has faced financial crisis to sustain its operation. I was glad that at least I jointly with other fellows to contribute to the cause during that time. But, the moment even convinced me that more continuing effort from each of us would ensure children access to health service.

I therefore wrote this piece, not merely to thank to the hospital for professionally taking care of my niece, but also to encourage all of you to make a contribution to the hospital so that this could be partly ensure its sustainability that ultimately help surviving many poor and vulnerable kids in Cambodia.

To make direct donation you could go to the foundation website directly but you could also join my cause here:

From now up to 30 March 2014, please jointly celebrate my 29th year old by gifting me $1 each or more so that the sum will be contributed to Foundation Childrens Hospitals Kantha Bopha. Please contact me via chaksopheap@gmail.com for any inquiry about this cause or way of donation.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Sopheap,

    Thanks for sharing the touch stories… Many things happen around us but very often the stories that should be heard to the public are usually ignored by key medias.

    It is undeniable that the hospitals have saved countless Cambodian children for almost 30 years in operations… And it is considered as the best hospital in the country for child care.

    I have been through many articles about the survival of Kantha Bopha in ‘question’… But most of the actions taken from the hospital management, supporters alike are appealing ‘donation’. Which is not logical from personal point of view, donation would not be able to make the hospital sustainable in long run. It is unfortunate that this hospital has continued its operations exactly the same it has been implemented since in its inception (offer for free of charge). Things change a lot in our country , the rise of middle income are also tremendously increased. These reveal that many of Cambodian, even not majority, can afford many things including child care for their beloved children unlike 30 years back when the hospital just opened it.

    The DNA of the hospital does not need to be changed but its operations must be adjusted to ensure its sustainability in long run. There must be some changes from the management mind set to initiative public dialog about the future direction of the hospital to ensure its survival, then initiate action accordingly which is considered as acceptable by the public at large. Those could be charging service for those who could afford… It is not easy but there must be a way to solve out, if there is management will. The income generated could be used to subsidize for those who cannot afford.

    This is just my personal point of view. Honestly, a lot of articles I read about the hospital only those who saw apparently, not yet digesting its root of the issue in the hospital. Hence, my point of view could be inappropriate too but I try to emphasize from my own experience in working for charity and run business.

    Would be glad to hear any feedback at savylach@gamail.com

    Kind regards,

    Savy

  2. Hi Savy,
    Thanks for your comment. Your point is valid and I totally agreed with you. To address the problem in long run, the proper mechanism need to take in to place within and from the state to ensure the operation of this hospital.

    Given the current long-term is not yet in place, it pushed me to have this cause, hopefully to contribute in my personal level. Yet, a more broader solution is needed.

    Regards,
    Sopheap

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